One of the problems in any quotes coming out of Mongolia, is you can never be too sure if the speaker wasn't three sheets to the wind.  Vodka is the breakfast bevy of choice for a scary number of these post-Soviet folks.  I can just imagine when Starbucks opens in the Gobi they will have a "Grande Vodka" to go with that Americano.

From NPR   -- 

Almost one in five Mongolian men binge-drink on a weekly basis. One reason for the high level of alcoholism is the sheer availability of alcohol. Mongolia has one shop selling alcohol for every 270 people, the highest number anywhere in world. Most supermarkets have an aisle dedicated to vodka, sometimes with more than 25 types of vodka alone, costing just $2 for a half-pint.

Many politicians have a direct interest in the alcohol industry, and alcohol taxes and licenses generate large revenues for the government.

"Alcohol is one of the single most important sources of income for the Mongolian government," says Sean Armstrong, who is researching alcoholism in Mongolia. "Currently, 20 to 23 percent of the government income comes from taxes directly related to alcohol use and sales."

A couple of years ago, even the then-health minister had his own highly profitable vodka brand. Many vodka brands appeal to national pride, invoking national heroes like the founder of the Mongol empire, Chinggis Khaan, known in the West as Genghis Khan.


Funny that RioT will float stories to scare the hell out of the public shareholders while they seem to be slow in updating their mining plan or any drilling along the HNE or at Ulan Khud.  Just saying.