Mongolian Ovoo

Mongolian Ovoo

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Ulaan Ovoo (Coal Mongolia)

In November 2013, Prophecy resumed mining operations at its Ulaan Ovoo (100% interest) coal mine in Mongolia. The mine restart plan has been on time and on budget.

The coal is trucked 120km to to the Sukhbaatar rail siding, which is then is transported by rail to Russian and Mongolian customers. The company expects to mine and transport approximately 30,000 to 50,000 tonnes of coal per month with 300,000 to 500,000 tonne target in 2014.

Since 2010, the Company has invested over $55 million at Ulaan Ovoo. This includes road and bridge construction, mining vehicles, mining camp, pre-stripping, and other infrastructure and community improvement. The Ulaan Ovoo thermal coal mine is strategically located 17 km from the Russian border and 120 km from both Mongolian and Russian rail links. Wardrop Engineering (Tetra Tech) estimated 174 Mt of measured and 34 Mt of indicated coal resources in an NI 43-101 report in 2010. The coal is bituminous (5,040 kcal/kg), low ash (11.3%), low sulphur (0.40%), and suitable for export. The mine features a single massive coal seam that is 45-80 m thick with an average strip ratio of 1.8:1. The first 8 years of mining requires no coal washing.


  • 174 Mt of measured and 34 Mt of indicated coal resources (NI43-101 compliant)
  • Bituminous (5,040 kcal/kg), low ash (11.3%), low sulphur (0.40%) thermal coal suitable for export
  • Single massive coal seam 45-80 m thick with an average strip ratio of 1.8:1
  • First 8+ years of mining requires no coal washing
  • Transferable 30-year mining license with a 40-year extension option
  • Environmental approval and mining licenses granted by the Mongolian government
  • Over 33,000 hectares of exploration licenses in surrounding sedimentary basins with potential for additional resources
  • Secured railway loading capacity through Mongolia’s Sukhbaatar Railroad station

Ulaan Ovoo Coal Resource:

Coal (Tonnes)
Measured 174.5 Million
Indicated 34.3 Million
Total M&I 208.8 Million
Inferred 35.9 Million

Ulaan Ovoo resource estimate is from the NI 43-101 Behre Dolbear report prepared in 2007. Coal reserves estimate from the NI 43-101 report prepared by Wardrop Engineering in 2010. Detailed Resource/Grade Table

Technical Reports:

Videos and Photo Gallery:

Photo Gallery

  • Shipping Coal To Russia - September 2014

  • Shipping Coal To Russia - September 2014

  • Shipping Coal To Russia - September 2014

  • Shipping Coal To Russia - September 2014

  • Shipping coal to Russia
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  • Shipping coal to Russia
    (August 2014)

  • Shipping coal to Russia
    (August 2014)

  • Shipping coal to Russia
    (August 2014)

  • Shipping coal to Russia
    (February 2014)

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements contained on this page, including statements which may contain words such as “expects”, “anticipates”, “intends”, “plans”, “believes”, “estimates”, or similar expressions, and statements related to matters which are not historical facts, are forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities laws. Such forward-looking statements, which reflect management’s expectations regarding Prophecy’s future growth, results of operations, performance, business prospects and opportunities, are based on certain factors and assumptions and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties which may cause the actual results, performance, or achievements to be materially different from future results, performance, or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These estimates and assumptions are inherently subject to significant business, economic, competitive and other uncertainties and contingencies, many of which, with respect to future events, are subject to change and could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in any forward-looking statements made by Prophecy.

In making forward-looking statements as may be included on this page, Prophecy has made several assumptions that it believes are appropriate, including, but not limited to assumptions that: there being no significant disruptions affecting operations, such as due to labour disruptions currency exchange rates being approximately consistent with current levels certain price assumptions for coal, prices for and availability of fuel, parts and equipment and other key supplies remain consistent with current levels production forecasts meeting expectations the accuracy of Prophecy’s current mineral resource estimates labour and materials costs increasing on a basis consistent with Prophecy’s current expectations and that any additional required financing will be available on reasonable terms. Prophecy cannot assure you that any of these assumptions will prove to be correct.

Numerous factors could cause Prophecy’s actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward looking statements, including the following risks and uncertainties, which are discussed in greater detail under the heading “Risk Factors” in Prophecy’s most recent Management Discussion and Analysis and Annual Information Form as filed on SEDAR and posted on Prophecy’s website: Prophecy’s history of net losses and lack of foreseeable cash flow exploration, development and production risks, including risks related to the development of Prophecy’s Ulaan Ovoo coal property Prophecy not having a history of profitable mineral production the uncertainty of mineral resource and mineral reserve estimates the capital and operating costs required to bring Prophecy’s projects into production and the resulting economic returns from its projects foreign operations and political conditions, including the legal and political risks of operating in Mongolia, which is a developing jurisdiction title to Prophecy’s mineral properties environmental risks the competitive nature of the mining business lack of infrastructure Prophecy’s reliance on key personnel uninsured risks commodity price fluctuations reliance on contractors Prophecy’s minority interest in Prophecy Platinum Ltd. Prophecy’s need for substantial additional funding and the risk of not securing such funding on reasonable terms or at all foreign exchange risks anti-corruption legislation recent global financial conditions the payment of dividends and conflicts of interest.

These factors should be considered carefully, and readers should not place undue reliance on the Prophecy’s forward-looking statements. Prophecy believes that the expectations reflected in the forward-
looking statements contained on this page and the documents incorporated by reference herein are reasonable, but no assurance can be given that these expectations will prove to be correct. In addition, although Prophecy has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual actions, events or results to differ materially from those described in forward looking statements, there may be other factors that cause actions, events or results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. Prophecy undertakes no obligation to release publicly any future revisions to forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date when information on this page is published or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events, except as expressly required by law.

Mongolian Prime Minister talks up power station

In 2009 the Mongolian Prime Minister Sanjaagiin Bayar visited the minesite to discuss the establishment of the Shivee Ovoo power station. In an interview Bayar stated that "we exchanged our points of views with Development and Innovation Committee of People’s Republic of China regarding building the complex next to Shivee Ovoo coal mine. We agreed upon establishing it in late 2009. This is to establish the biggest ever power station with capacity of 20 thousand megawatt. It will supply China with energy. It is good for China and Mongolia. Also this power station is to provide Mongolia with electricity. This station would supply China, a stable and big market with high demand of electricity. It is not only the issue of Shivee Ovoo, we need to build power station to supply Xinjiang – Uyghur region of China, where there is big demand of energy. We have huge reserve next to this region. These projects will surely help Mongolia to strengthen its financial base and budget revenue. Also eastern part of Mongolia, namely, Dornod aimag has mining deposits with big reserve." Δ]

The construction of the Shivee-Ovoo power station would require approximately 20 million tonnes of coal per year, necessitating a massive expansion of the existing mine. Ε]

Costume of Buryatia

One of the main Mongolian ethnic groups is Buriad Mongol. Their ancestors were Ancient Horsemen’s who lived in Lake Baikal. They were Mongol tribes such as the Zuellig River (Lena), Nature Reserves, Habitat Tombs, and Barggins. Currently, the Buriad Mongols reside in Khentii, Dornod, Selenge, Irkutsk Oblast, Chita, Russia and Inner Khulunbuir Aimag in Inner Mongolia.

The Buryats use the “sublimation” tapered cap. The front of the lettuce is designed to fit the longitudinal and the tails of the glass to fit the glass. In the cooling season, the jacket is worn in the cap and put it in warmth. The elbows of Marge were eleven rows of vertical walls, the number of eleven poisons, and eight wolves (eight tribes), and they were like the Mountains, the Sunflowers, the flames, and the wick. The Mongolian hat is rounded from the top to the four corners of the eight eyelids. In addition, there are hat types, such as octopus, hat, cap hat with headphones, short hair hat, hat cap.

He wore the women’s’ back and wore the outer skirt with black and dark colors. The sleeves are threaded with a pocket, and it is made of a pocket, which is made of silk. The cleanliness of the body demonstrates the appearance and craftsmanship of the fabric. On the collar, one at the bottom, two on the back and one on the shoulder to the knee. The Buryat’s cloak dyed with a short, delicate ribbon. There are leather Mongolian boots made of Goddess. There is a shroud. The Mongolian boots in Buryatia were made of leather. They were dressed in boots and dresses and tied up with a leather belt with a belt clip.

Buryats are called slabs, slabs, and slippers. The bark of brown bark of dark wood prepared specifically for the skins and skins is applied to the rice.


Shamans were the holy men of the ancient Mongols. They were credited with special powers that allowed them to talk to the gods on behalf of their tribe.

When someone died, for example, the tribal Shaman would go into a trance, so he could accompany the spirit of the dead person to the other world.

Shamans also performed the Tsam, a dance the ancient Mongols believed would rid them of evil spirits. Some Shamans inherited their job from their father. Others found their powers after an illness or a calamity.

2) Creepy Teepee has extraordinary Healing Powers

A ritual practised even now is that of shaman healing, which has produced surprising results. Shamans achieve this through carrying out numerous rituals and practices. However, the method, tools, symbolism and rituals may differ depending on the culture, norm and region. Regardless of this, healing is usually seen as being a threefold connection between the shaman, the spirit and the client.

In fact, no matter where shamanism is practised, healing is one of its basic principles. Specific to Mongolia, shamans heal members of the community at Creepy Teepee altars at the tops of the mountains.

What Mongolian Shamans Do?

Modern shamans are considered as exorcists, prophets, fortune-tellers, medicine men, healers and interpreters of dreams. Traditional medicine has always been important in Mongolia and Siberia. Herbalists, healers and their traditions vary from tribe to tribe and from region to region. Despite these small differences, healers were always an important part of society.

Shamans are viewed as bridges between their communities and the spiritual world. During their trances, which are usually induced in some kind of ritual, shaman seek the help of spirits to do things like cure illnesses, bring about good weather, predict the future, or communicate with deceased ancestors. Before making important decisions many Mongolians consult a shaman. They make an offering of meat, sweets and vodka and the shaman conducts a ceremony.

Mongolia's Ten Sacred Mountains

Unique in the modern world, Mongolia has ten sacred mountains protected by Presidential Decree. Honoring sacred mountains has been integral to both shamanic and Buddhist practice in Mongolia, and the country has some of the oldest, official, continuously protected sites in the world, dating back to the 13th century. Mongolia’s commitment to the veneration and protection of sacred natural sites is both a spiritual and practical custom that weaves together religious traditions, cultural practices and political legitimacy. The rituals and practices involved with revering these sacred places—and the environmental stewardship that results—intersects with longstanding political tradition and leadership of the state. No other country in the world can claim this history. Mongolia’s political respect for and deference to the sacred landscape connects the sacred with the profane, equating spiritual well-being with the health of the people and the interests of the nation. In turn, these policies have become central to ecological conservation today. As shaman Buyanbadrakh says, “The traditional ways of worshiping and protecting sacred places are the best way to care for nature.”

Mongolia’s Sacred Mountains

Mongolia shares borders with Russia and China in north-central Asia. Its northern border with Russia extends 2,202 miles (3,543 km) from the Altai Mountains in the west to the vast steppe in the east. Mongolia’s dry southern border with China stretches 2,906 miles (4,677 km).

Mongolia has designated ten Sacred Mountains by Presidential Decree, each of which has Special Protected Territory status. These ten mountains are: Bogd Khairkhan Mountain (Богд Хайрхан уул), Burkhan Khaldun Mountain (Бурхан Xалдун уул), Otgontenger Mountain (Отгонтэнгэр), Altan Khukhii (Алтан Хөхий уул), Darigangyn Altan Ovoo (Дарьгангын Алтан Овоо), Khan Khukhii (Хан Хөхий), Sutai Khairkhan (Сутай Хайрхан уул), Suvrag Khairkhan Mountain (Суврага Хайрхан уул), Altai Tavan Bogd (Алтай Таван Богд) and Gobi Gurvan Saikhan (Говь Гурван Сайхан). In 2010, Mongolia issued two sets of stamps commemorating eight of these State Worshipped Mountains and depicting the beauty, cultural and spiritual significance of these national treasures.

Click on each mountain below for details (which you can also find at the end of the report along with images of the mountains on the commemorative stamps):

History — The Oldest Protected Areas on Earth

Mongolia has a long tradition of venerating and protecting natural spaces. During the 12th century, Chinggis (Ghengis) Khan designated Burkhan Khaldun Mountain, part of the Khentii Mountain range, a Sacred Mountain of the Mongol people. In 1294, official texts documented Bogd Khairkhan Mountain as a natural reserve. In 1709, the “Khalkh Juram,” or Khalkha Rules, outlined social relationships in outer Mongolia and honored Buddhist temples and monks, stating that beautiful and scenic mountains and lakes were to be protected by State law. In 1778, through the efforts of King Yunndendorzh, Bogd Khairkhan Mountain, the Khan Khentii Mountains, of which Burkhan Khaldun Mountain is a part, and Otgontenger Mountain were declared State protected and worshipped sacred mountains. In 1911, Bogdo Khan enacted a law to worship Otgontenger Mountain every year.

In 1992, the Mongolian Parliament adopted a goal of placing 30 percent of national lands under protected status. In 1993, the government formed the Protected Areas Bureau, and in 1994 Parliament passed the “Law on Special Protected Areas” to “regulate the use and procurement of land for state special protection and the preservation and conservation of its original conditions in order to preserve the specific features of natural zones, unique formations, rare and endangered plants and animals, and historic and cultural monuments and scenic areas, and to study and understand their evolution.” This law recognizes four categories of Special Protected Areas: Strictly Protected Areas (Дархан цаазат газар), National Parks (Байгалийн цогцолбор газар), Nature Reserves (Байгалийн нөөц газар) and National Monuments (дурсгалт газар). The “Law on Special Protected Areas” encompasses many more lands than the Presidential Decrees, offering much broader environmental protection. There are 20 territories designated as Strictly Protected Areas, plus 32 National Parks, 33 Nature Reserves and 14 National Monuments.

On May 16, 1995, President Punsalmaagiin Ochirbat issued a Presidential Decree “supporting initiatives to revive the tradition of worshipping Bogd Khairkhan, Khan Khentii and Otgontenger mountains.” During this ceremony, President Ochirbat rededicated the Mongolian nation to the veneration and protection of these three sacred mountains with nationwide state ceremonies to occur at each mountain every four years. Presidential Decrees followed in 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2012 for Dariganga Dari Ovoo, Altan Khukhii, Suvrag Khairkhan Mountain, Sutai Khairkhan, Khan Khukhii, Altai Tavan Bogd and Gobi Gurvan Saikhan.

Veneration and Protection

According to linguist and geographer Dr. Hatgin Osornamjimyn Sukhbaatar, there are approximately 800 venerated mountains and sites in Mongolia. “Buried deep within [the traditional religion of Mongolia] are legends, stories, even names which tell us a great deal about a proper relationship with nature. Flowing from pre-Buddhist cultures, enhanced and often codified by Buddhism and now fused with environmental awareness, the ancient names of sacred mountains, lakes and rivers indicate a profound respect for nature which is one of the hallmarks of Mongolian culture.” (Sacred Sites of Mongolia, page 24)

Individuals, households and communities throughout Mongolia are connected to the landscape through legends and rituals performed to communicate with local deities for good harvest, healthy livestock, personal health, safe travels and the prevention of natural disasters and drought. Practitioners perform rituals employing both shamanic and Buddhist methods and veneration comes in many forms, from personal practice to national celebration. Ovoos (stone cairns) are built at sacred spaces as power points of influence and as offerings to earth and sky. Dr. Sukhbaatar found that over 280 venerated mountains have their own holy Buddhist texts, called sutras. The recitation of these sutras honors local deities through poetry and symbolism.

There are strict rules governing male and female veneration. Women are prohibited from climbing any mountain and their participation is limited on some sacred mountains to special places in the foothills. Men may climb sacred mountains and perform ceremonies at the summit. For example, at Darigangyn Altan Ovoo, women are prohibited from climbing the cairn and may only climb a smaller site nearby or walk clockwise around the sacred mountain. Men who reach the summit of Darigangyn Altan Ovoo burn juniper and pour libations as offerings.

Veneration of sacred natural sites is central to the ancient traditions of Mongolian shamanism. Shamanism maintains that people, animals and objects are endowed with spirits, and the shaman holds a position of power and authority as the intermediary between the human and spiritual realms. According to Kevin Turner, Director for Asia at the Foundation for Shamanic Studies, “the lived experience of shamanism is what constitutes authenticity…shamanism is based on direct experience and tangible results.” (Sky Shamans of Mongolia, page 4)

Buddhism has been part of religious experience on the Mongolian steppe for more than a thousand years. However, Buddhism was not formally adopted into Mongolia’s political life until the 13th century with the Yuan Dynasty emperors conversion to Tibetan Buddhism. Buddhism’s influence waned with the collapse of the Yuan Dynasty but saw a resurgence in the 16th century to become central to Mongolian spirituality and social fabric. Monasteries and temple complexes were part of every region of Mongolia and were connected to ruling elites through wealth and power in their local communities. Likewise, thousands of men and boys became monks connecting families with Buddhist traditions and practice. As with shamanism, Buddhism was suppressed by the socialist government of the 20th century. Monasteries were destroyed. Buddhist texts disappeared. Many lamas (monks) were imprisoned or killed. Buddhism has found a role again in contemporary Mongolia, and today there are approximately 200 temples with practicing monks and nuns.

Shamanism has thrived side-by-side with Buddhist tradition in Mongolia for more than a thousand years, but was also suppressed between 1924 and 1990 by the socialist government of the People’s Republic in favor of a secular society. After the revolution of 1990, Mongolia saw a thousandfold increase in the number of practicing shamans, from approximately 10 individuals in 1990 to more than 10,000 today. Shamanic practice is also incorporated into the lives of ordinary people and comes to the fore daily in rituals honoring sacred spaces throughout the country. Shamanic practice illuminates an ancient understanding that veneration of sacred sites is the agency of the individual within her or his home, local community and landscape, and through diverse cultural and religious traditions. Well-being for the practitioner, such as a traveler who builds an ovoo, as well as protection of sacred sites, are the tangible results of this spiritual action.

Deities, Ovoos and Sutras

Shamanism and Buddhism today work together in the veneration of sacred mountains through the building of ovoos (stone cairns) from shamanic practice, along with sutras (holy texts) from Buddhism. According to Vesna A. Wallace, each sacred mountain is “honored as a living entity that demands respect, expects levies, allowances, and gifts, and is capable of granting wishes, protecting, disciplining, and afflicting…” According to Wallace, respect for sacred mountains bestows political legitimacy as “a sacred mountain also parallels a ruler of the state.” (Buddhism in Mongolian History, Culture and Society, page 226)

Mongolia’s sacred mountains are named for their appearance, relationship with the sky and earth, associated deities, and rank afforded them by political leaders throughout Mongolia’s history. Place names draw on words and concepts from several sources, including Mongolian, Tibetan and Turkic languages. For example, Sutai (Сутай) refers to the snowy appearance of a mountain. Gurvan (гурван) means three and Tavan (Таван) means five, describing the shape of high ridges. Tengeri (Тэнгэр) stems from shamanic practice referring to sky or Heaven and the deities who reside there. Bogd (Богд) comes from the Buddhist tradition meaning saint, holy or sacred. Khan (хаан) is the Mongolian word for King, and Khairkhan (Хайрхан) has multiple meanings, including Sacred, Benevolent, or Loving King. Ranking aligns veneration of each mountain with the respect that is afforded a ruler or leader of the nation.

Legends tell of deities that are associated with the landscape and specific mountains, and the geographic attributes and physical appearance of a site often indicate the kind of deity who resides there. “The main purpose of deifying mountains is to please the possessor and deity of the land and ask for blessings and benedictions for the well-being of the province, families and livestock.” (Sacred Sites of Mongolia, page 27) Through the centuries, stewardship of the environment has been important to the survival of nomadic and semi-nomadic Mongols, and in modern times the society as a whole has continued religious traditions and practices that promote and reinforce ecological conservation, which in turn helps maintain traditional Mongol lifestyles and the environment.

Each mountain, stream, river and lake has its own deity. Deities throughout Mongolia are male and female. They are respected and feared. Deities differ from one another with regard to the physical appearance of the sacred site they inhabit. The stories, names and rituals associated with many deities show the interconnectedness of shamanism and Buddhism in Mongolia. Traditionally, male deities are connected with the sky or Heaven, known as Tengeri (Тэнгэр), while female deities are connected with the Earth and mother Etugen. Sukhbaatar explains, “depicting deities as female was originally connected with the shamanic tradition of mother Etugen. Later this was connected with the green and white Taras of Buddhism. But is has been observed that these Buddhist deities were personalized and brought closer to the lifestyle of Mongolia (as they were envisioned riding horses, camels and bulls).” (Sacred Sites of Mongolia, page 32)

Stone cairns known as ovoos are built at sacred sites as altars or shrines. According to spiritual practice, an ovoo serves as a power point of influence within the landscape and is home to an ancestral spirit. Each ancestral spirit communicates with the deities of Heaven and Earth. Ovoos were originally part of shamanic tradition and were later adopted into Mongolian Buddhist practice. Built on the top of a mountain or other high sacred spaces such as mountain passes, humans pay homage to the deities who inhabit the land through personal rituals. Travelers may add rocks to an ovoo, circumambulate the ovoo three times in a clockwise direction for a good journey, or leave offerings of food and drink. In a ceremony for the worship of Heaven that takes place at the end of summer, practitioners place a tree branch or stick in the ovoo and tie a blue khadag, a ceremonial silk scarf symbolizing the sky spirit Tengeri (Тэнгэр), supreme god of Heaven. The ritual involves lighting a fire and making offerings of food, followed by prayers, dance and a feast.

Sutras are holy Buddhist texts containing truths or principles, which in the context of Mongolia’s sacred mountains, are a record of wisdom from Mongol culture. Written in Tibetan, the religious language of Mongolia, sutras describe nature and deities through poetry and symbolism. Similar to the practice of making offerings at ovoos, Buddhist sutras have long been spoken in prayer to pay homage to local deities and ask for blessings.

Presidential Decrees

Mongolian shamanism and Buddhist practice are made tangible through the presidential decrees and national ceremonies honoring sacred mountains, which unite the each person’s actions and agency with national cultural pride and natural conservation efforts. The shamanic practice of lived experience creating authenticity and tangible results is borne through the presidential decrees, as veneration produces protection, and practiced spirituality results in the conservation of Mongolia’s natural spaces. Since 1995, Mongolia has honored its sacred mountains through nationwide state ceremonies every year. At these ceremonies, the president, along with Buddhist lamas and local shaman, venerate the sacred mountain through speeches, rituals, sutras and prayer.

Mongolia’s longstanding political protection of sacred mountains makes the safeguarding of sacred natural sites an integral part of national governance and relevant in efforts to limit unregulated tourist and commercial interests, such as hunting, mining and other polluting activities. Article 12 of the “Law on Special Protected Areas” (1994) prohibits the following activities in protected areas: changing natural features (mining, digging, explosives, logging), harvesting natural resources, hunting and trapping or disturbing fauna, constructing buildings, using substances that produce negative environmental impacts, and conducting activities that pollute the soil, air or water. Environmental protection has continued into the 21st century with laws such as the “Law on the Prohibition of Mining Operations at Headwaters of Rivers, Protected Zones of Water Reservoirs and Forested Areas” which Mongolia’s Parliament passed in 2009, limiting mining operations within areas critical for water and biodiversity protection.

Lessons Learned

While other countries search for ways to incorporate environmentalism into their national conversation and impress upon their citizens the need for ecological awareness and conservation, Mongolia’s approach to conservation as both a spiritual and practical matter is compelling. The long tradition and centrality of the interconnectedness of Mongolia’s natural, spiritual, cultural and political dimensions has made protection of the natural landscape and sacred spaces synonymous with Mongol cultural identity, nomadic livelihoods and the nation state.

Issuing state decrees to protect and honor sacred places is a concrete example of how legislation and public policy can effectively recognize and safeguard cultural treasures that also have great ecological significance. When such laws exist, nationwide ceremonies that venerate sacred places unite citizens within a common history and identity and instill pride in individuals for the nation’s environment.

The Ten Sacred Mountains

Bogd Khairkhan Mountain / Богд Хайрхан уул

Decree #110 by President Punsalmaagiin Ochirbat on May 16, 1995. Nationwide State Ceremonies: 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012.

Bogd Khairkhan Mountain is Mongolia’s—and perhaps the world’s—oldest officially and continuously protected site. Officially declared a sacred mountain reserve in 1778, evidence of its protected status dates back to the 13th century. In 1778 the Mongolian minister of Khuree (Urga, present day Ulaanbaatar) Sanzaidorj sent a letter to the Qianlong Emperor requesting approval of annual ceremonies dedicated to Bogd Khairkhan Mountain. The Mongolian letter and the reply from Beijing in Mongolian is kept in the Central State Archives of Mongolia.

The deity associated with Bogd Khairkhan is Dunjingarav, who rides 33 grey horses (a symbol of shamanism) and has the Buddhist mantra “um ma hum.” The sutra created by Triumphant Abbot Damtsagdorj (1781–1855) is used in rituals at Bogd Khairkhan.

Burkhan Khaldun Mountain / Бурхан Халдун уул

Decree #110 by President Punsalmaagiin Ochirbat on May 16, 1995. Nationwide State Ceremonies: 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2015.

Burkhan Khaldun is in the Khentii Mountains of Khentii Province, northeastern Mongolia. The mountain has held strong religious significance since being designated by Chinggis Khan in the 12th century. The Khentii Province is believed to be the birthplace of Chinggis Khan in around 1162. Burkhan Khaldun Mountain is where he performed his ceremonies and communicated with Tengeri and his protector spirits.

Worship of Burkhan Khaldun was formalized by Presidential Decree in 1995, when the mountain was declared a State Worshipped Mountain. It has been a Special Protected Area since 1992 as part of the Khan Khentii Strictly Protected Area. Burkhan Khaldun was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site on July 4, 2015 as a cultural site under the title “Great Burkhan Khaldun Mountain and its surrounding sacred landscape.”

Burkhan Khaldun boasts complex, unique biodiversity with flora of the Central Asian steppe. It is home to 50 species of fauna and 253 species of birds.

Otgontenger / Отгонтэнгэр

Decree #110 by President Punsalmaagiin Ochirbat on May 16, 1995. Nationwide State Ceremonies: 1995, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011.

Otgontenger Mountain is the highest point of the Khangai mountain range, located in Buyant Bag of Otgon Soum, Zavkhan Province. The mountain the only peak in the Khangai range that is capped with a permanent glacier. Otgontenger was first decreed protected in 1779. Then, in 1911, Bogdo Khan enacted a law to worship the mountain every year. This practice was revived in 1992 after the collapse of the People’s Republic and in 1994 the mountain was designated a Strictly Protected Area. Since President Punsalmaagiin Ochirbat’s decree in 1995, Otgontenger has been ritually worshipped every four years.

Earlier, people used to worship Otgontenger Mountain with shamanic rituals. Within the Buddhist tradition, the deity Ochirvaani, who is ferocious and male, is associated with Otgontenger. A sutra created by Lama Agvaanprinlaijamts (1860–1936) is read during worship ceremonies.

Altan Khukhii Mountain / Алтан Хөхий уул

Decree #44 by President Natsagiin Bagabandi on March 30, 2005. Nationwide State Ceremonies: 2005, 2009, 2013.

Altan Khukhii Mountain was designated a State Worshipped Mountain in 2010. The mountain is located in the Great Lakes basin of the Mongol Altai Range, 35 miles (50 km) north of Myangad Soum center and 95 miles (150 km) south of Ulaangom town.

Darigangyn Altan Ovoo / Дарьгангын Алтан Овоо

Decree #57 by President Natsagiin Bagabandi on April 23, 2004. Nationwide State Ceremonies: 2004, 2008, 2012.

Darigangyn Altan Ovoo, also known as Dariganga Dari Ovoo (Golden Cairn), is a volcano in Dariganga Soum in Sukhbaatar Aimag.

The Eighth Jebtsundamba Khutuktu Bogd Khan (1869–1924), the theocratic ruler of Mongolia, declared Darigangyn Altan Ovoo an officially worshipped mountain. Bogd Khan was the preeminent living Buddha of Mongolia, who ranked third in the Lamaist-Buddhist ecclesiastical hierarchy, after the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama.

Khan Khukhii / Хан Хөхий

Decree #183 by President Nambaryn Enkhbayar on July 26, 2007. Nationwide State Ceremonies: 2008 and 2012.

Khan Khukhii Mountain, along with Khan Khukhii Lake, Khyargas and Airag lakes, and the headwaters of the Zavkhan and Khungui rivers, has been protected as a national park since 2000. The area is also significant for the tumuli (ancient burial mounds) found there.

Khan Khukhii has a female deity who is said to meet with the male deity of nearby Tagna Mountain every month.

Sutai Khairkhan Mountain / Сутай Хайрхан уул

Decree #183 by President Nambaryn Enkhbayar on July 26, 2007. Nationwide State Ceremonies: 2008 and 2012.

Sutai Khairkhan is the highest of the Gobi-Altai Mountains in the Central Asian plateau. It spans the boundaries of Tonkhil and Darvi soums of the Gobi-Altai Province and the Darvi and Tsetseg soums of Khovd Province in western Mongolia. This State Worshipped Sacred Mountain rises 13,845 feet (4,220 meters) and is covered in glaciers and snow. It is home to rare and endangered plants and animals.

According to tradition, the deity who belongs to the snow-covered peak is a pale lady whose look can pacify fierce humans and who cares for poor people. “She rides a ferocious white bull who pins up upper heaven with is horns and tramples the soil of the ground with its two front legs. The goddess holds a treasure plate with her left hand and a yellow silk with her right hand.” (Sukhbaatar, Sacred Sites of Mongolia, page 31)

In the 17th century, the sutra “Sutai khany san” was created for worship of the Sutai Khairkhan. The sutra is still used during the rituals for the mountain.

Suvrag Khairkhan Mountain / Суврага Хайрхан уул

Decree #183 by President Nambaryn Enkhbayar on July 26, 2007. Nationwide State Ceremonies: 2011.

Suvrag Khairkhan forms the eastern part of the Khangai Mountains in the Tsenkher Soum of the Arkjangai province. This State Worshipped Sacred Mountain rises 10,430 feet (3,179 meters) and is noted for its thick forests, rocky surfaces and snow-capped peak.

The following two sacred mountains do not have commemorative stamps:

Altai Tavan Bogd / Алтай Таван Богд

Decree #153 by President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorzh on August 24, 2012. Nationwide State Ceremony: 2014.

Altai Tavan Bogd is a National Park and is home to over 10,000 Neolithic and Bronze Age Tsagaan Salaa rock paintings.

Gobi Gurvan Saikhan / Говь Гурван Сайхан

Decree #153 by President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorzh on August 24, 2012. Nationwide State Ceremonies: 2013 and 2018.

Gobi Gurvan Saikhan is a National Park. The land has been protected from development since 1963 and is home to more than 200 bird species, as well as endangered species, such as snow leopards, wild camel and ibex.


Campi, Alicia J. “Review of Special Protected Areas of Mongolia,” edited by D. Myagmarsuren, Ulaanbaatar: Munkhyn Useg Co, Ltd., 2000

Chimedsengee, Urantsatsral, and Amber Cripps, Victoria Finlay, Guido Verboom, Ven Munkhbaatar Batchuluun, Ven Da Lama Byambajav Khunkhur. Mongolian Buddhists Protecting Nature: A Handbook on Faiths, Environment and Development. The World Bank, Alliance of Religion and Conservation, in partnership with Gandan Tegchenling Monastery, the Mongolian Ministry of Nature, Environment and Tourism, and The Tributary Fund, 2009.

Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center. “Mongolian Cultural Orientation.” Technology Integration Division, June 2011

Dudley, Nigel, Liza Higgins-Zogib and Stephanie Mansourian, “Beyond Belief: Linking faiths and protected areas to support biodiversity conservation.” The Arguments for Protection Series. A research report by WWF, Equilibrium and Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC), December 2005.

Gandan Tegchilen Monastery, text by Dr. Hatgin Osornamjimyn Sukhbaatar. Sacred Sites of Mongolia. Alliance for Religions and Conservation, The World Bank, and WWF Mongolia, 2001

Sneath, David. “Nationalising civilisational resources: sacred mountains and cosmopolitical ritual in Mongolia.” Asian Ethnicity, Issue 4: Mongolia: Civilization, Nationality, and Ethnicity, 2014: 458-472

Turner, Kevin. Sky Shamans of Mongolia: Meetings with Remarkable Healers. North Atlantic Books, 2016

UNESCO. “Report of the Thematic Expert Meeting on Asia-Pacific Sacred Mountains.“ Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, 2001

Wallace, Vesna A. “Buddhist Sacred Mountains, Auspicious Landscapes and Their Agency,” in Buddhism in Mongolian History, Culture, and Society, edited by Vesna A. Wallace. Oxford University Press, 2015: 221-240

Wild, Robert, and Christopher McLeod, editors. Sacred Natural Sites: Guidelines for Protected Area Managers. Best Practice Protected Area Guidelines Series No. 16. IUCN and UNESCO, 2008

Continue Exploring Sacred Sites

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Product description

  • Developed on the existing sturdy Mongolian ger architectural design
  • Ease of transportation. It will fit in any vehicle.
  • Assembled in 15 minutes, disassembled in 10 minutes.
  • Usable in winter, spring, summer, and autumn. 4 seasons.
  • Successfully passed water and wind tests.
  • The round shape allows for optimal air ventilation and even distribution of heat.
  • There are sleeping area and additional entrance area with four possible doors to the structure. Additional roof cover which can be used as a separate shed.
  • It is possible to interconnect the GerTents and the sleeping tents.

  1. On top of a mountain
  2. In the plains
  3. On the river shores
  4. On the Gobi sands and variety of beautiful landscapes&hellip
  • Nature travelers / Family travelers
  • Herders and farmers / Hunters / Fishermen
  • Mountain and extreme sport athletes
  • Emergency and rescue services
  • Travel companies
  • Mining companies
  • To set up a travel Basecamp
  • To build a mining camp
  • Accomodation for hunters and fishermen to spend night as a group
  • Travel with many friends and family
  • In the backyard of the pond house
  • At the entertainment show and events
  • Can be used for outdoor exhibition purposes.

Diameter: 4M/13ft

Door: 1m(W)*1.8m(H)

Wall Height: 1.6m

Roof Height: 2.3m

Fabric: Poly cotton canvas beige, 300gsm, PU coating, water proof, mildew resistant.

Ground sheet:.540gsm ripstop PVC, waterproof. Beige color. With Zipped in Ground Sheet

Net: 40gsm black, both on door and windows.

Central pole: Dia.22 - 28mm aluminum telescopic pole,1.5mm thickness.

Frame poles: Dia.18mm, 20mm aluminum tube 6061,1.2mm thickness, anodized. All frame is 16kg.

Windows: 2 side windows & 2 vents on the apex, with mesh.

Behind doors: 3 zipper door, zipper Mesh door with flap. 1.6m height.

Front door: 1 main zipper door, zipper Mesh door with flap. 1.8m height.

Rope: &Phi6mm Nylon ropes, 1.8m*12pcs 3.5m*2pcs

Stakes: &Phi6mm steel,23cm on length, 30pcs

Product size: 400*400*230/160 cm

Package Size: 125X40X40cm, 100X40X40cm (2 bags)

Weight:Appro. 50kg +-

Capacity: 4m can fit 6-8 person

4-season style: you can install a stove jack to keep warm

Floor and cover:The door and the window has mesh, also there has a zipper in the ground sheet,and the zipper in the ground is SBS brand

Closer Look

Read climate change case studies here.

These changed, unpredictable weather patterns have disrupted the herders’ traditional knowledge of when to move their animals to new pastures, where the best pastures may be, and when to shear their sheep and goats. Herders say summer pasture grasses no longer grow. If they move the herds to mountain pastures before winter snows begin, water will be too scarce for the animals. If the herders shear the animals and a snow or hailstorm occurs, animals will die of hypothermia. Because of global climate change, Mongol herders can no longer safely predict monthly--even daily--weather patterns.

Herders with smaller herds tend to lose more animals during a dzud than do herders with large herd sizes. As a result, the nomads want more livestock but increasing animals contributes in a small way to altered climate patterns by increasing methane production. Large-scale fossil fuel consumption by people in other parts of the world is far greater and has contributed more to this crisis. As such, the herders’ situation raises several moral questions. Has the herders’ right to life been violated by the actions of others? Does the world community have a moral obligation to assist the Mongolian herders, particularly when the herders are producing food for other people?

For the first time in Mongolian history, parents do not want their children to be herders. Climate change has made their traditional way of life too difficult. This has sent a shock through the herders’ personal and cultural identity. It has likewise shaken the peoples’ spiritual traditions, linked as these are to the rhythms of nature, the tasks of animal husbandry, and the role each family member plays in sustaining a nomadic lifestyle.

Mongolian ovoos are piles of rocks, wood, and cloth found at mountain peaks and high mountain trails. They are used for mountain and sky worship and as landmarks. It is customary for a herder to add a rock to the ovoo while he circles it three times in clockwise direction in order to have a safe journey.1

Photo credit:

As one small example, the generations-old sacred Ovoo markers are becoming obsolete as traditional herding pathways are abandoned.

Mongolian herdsman have been staging protests across Inner Mongolia for over 20 years demanding better protection of their lands, rights, and traditions from the ruling Chinese Communist Party. In 2018, protests increased against the pollution of traditional grazing lands by a Chinese government-invested mining company.

In 2018, Mongolian herder Bao Yu (left) made the courageous move of filing a formal complaint against the secretary of the gachaa (township ruling Chjinese Communist Party) for allowing the gold-mining company Taiping Mining to take over the grasslands, damage the fragile ecosystem of the steppe, and leave the Mongolian herders in extreme hardship. 1

Riding a Horse in Mongolia

Riders circle an “Ovoo” – a stone cairn honoring the mountain spirit and marking the pass and border to Gorkhi Terelj National Park. Custom prescribes that an ovoo be circumnavigated three times to make for a good journey.

Many people dream about riding a horse in Mongolia – of galopping across the steppes, exploring the wilderness, learning about the culture and history. Having worked in the country for many years and especially in the country side with local communities, we have a fair knowledge of real life there. But while we have something like roots in Mongolia after all these years, with many friends and colleagues and close ties to families and are very happy to share our knowledge and experiences, it is not up to us to present the country, its culture and traditions. To learn about these, we bring our guests there and let them meet with people first hand and of course, our Mongolian team members will happily share with you their views and knowledge. Most of them have grown up in the Mongolian country side and come from herder families.

Mongolian Herders facing Enormous Changes and Challenges

The country has undergone enormous changes since 1990 and still continues to do so. The practice of nomadic livestock herding is probably the most well known aspect about Mongolia and often used to romanticize rural life there and as an attraction for visitors. And yes, it is intriguing, interesting and alive. But for the herders of Mongolia, while it is their identity, livelihood and freedom, it is hardly romantic most of the time . It is a hard life, faced with ever growing challenges. Many herders want their children to pursue a different life.

Grassland Ecology and Nomadic Livestock Husbandry

Nomadic livestock herding is often misunderstood as a random wandering and destructive to grasslands. Yet, it is rooted in ecological necessity and in fact a key to manage arid grasslands in a sustainable manner – by maintaining frequent moves in summer time and undertaking seasonal migrations, the grasslands benefit from grazing and have time to recover when not grazed. Also, in dry land ecosystems, grassland condition is dependent mainly on – rainfall. This is what nomadic peoples everywhere have known for millennia and they have developed their livestock herding systems based on this. Science has recognized this in the last decades and the role of nomadic peoples in the preservation of grasslands is being acknowledged more now. This is why we have worked with herder communities in nature conservation and grasslands protection for many years, and this is where much of our knowledge and connections come from.

Still a typical rural scene in the steppes of Mongolia – an encampment of several nomadic herder families is called a “Khot Ail” in Mongolian language. Households move together and share tasks in herding and other activities.

Climate Change in Mongolia

Nomadic pastoralism is an intricate management system. Imagine managing 5 types of livestock, assessing and predicting pasture condition, planning and undertaking moves, and – preparing for and surviving a harsh winter that in cyclical fashion, comes with severe storms and snowfall that even the hardiest animals cannot survive. This is the reality of herding in Mongolia. Add to that the socio-economic and political changes that the country has undergone since 1990, when with the transformation to a market economy, most of the markets were lost and infrastructure and services for rural communities declined dramatically. Moreover, climate change is having a significant impact in Mongolia water sources are dwindling and changing weather patterns are a serious concern for livestock productivity.

Mining in Mongolia

While the government has instituted large programs in support of the national livestock husbandry, the country’s recent development is marked by a rapid expansion of mining industries. Mongolia is very rich in mineral resources, copper, gold, coal, and other sought after minerals. This wealth of the country is a double edged sword, with a potential for development and prosperity, but also for severe environmental and social impacts. The country is a text book example of a “resource curse” – where large multinational companies rush into the country for profit. Large investments and loans flood into the country, the latter of which may turn out a huge burden once the mineral wealth has been exploited and the aftermath of gigantic mining operations require expensive environmental management to contain damage. The attempts of national leaders and concerned citizens to leverage optimum benefits for their country from the exploitation of its own resources is often referred to negatively as “resource nationalism” in international media. And in more and more local areas, pasture lands are under threat when licenses for mining exploration and exploitation are issued.

Modern Technology and Old Traditions in Mongolia

These are the real challenges of the country and of Mongolia’s herders today. In this scenario, they are displaying unbelievable resilience. Practicing livestock herding whileadapting and developing it as necessary to a changing climate, new markets and technologies is quite a challenge. For herders in remote areas, communication and access to information has always been a prime need., With proper information, people adopt new technologies fast. Household use of solar energy per capita in the steppes of Mongolia is probably among the highest anywhere in the world. A solar panel, satellite dish, TV set, battery and charger for small devices, is a very common feature of herders’ gers in Mongolia. Small wind generators are also not uncommon. Such technologies expanded rapidly and with government support. The same goes for mobile phone service, a very important technology that rural communities embraced rapidly. Herders in Mongolia, as with most of the population are fairly well educated, with at least high school diploma.General education and a high literacy rate are a legacy of socialism, just as are the education and the strong participation of woman in public life, economic activities and of course in community life.

Travel by Camel in the Gobi Desert

Bactrian camel in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia. Camels are well adapted to the desert environment. They are an important means for Gobi herders, and they provide milk and wool.

Every herder family has close ties to relatives in the city, and many have a student going to school there. There is frequent travel to and from the capital city and trading across borders. In the Gobi, this is very common. Trading caravans don’t use camels anymore though.Modern trading is by 4 wheel drives vehicles or by train – the Southern route of the Trans-Siberian railway that travels from Ulaanbaatar to Beijing through the Gobi desert-. However, on a tour through the Gobi you are likely to still come across people riding camels, looking for their own camel herd in the wide expanses of the desert, or moving with pack camels and carrying their belongings, including a dismantled ger to another campsite. This of course is a great sight and an age old practice. Camels are an important means to maintain the nomadic way of life. But don’t be surprised if the camel rider is on a cell phone, –she may be tweeting- if in range of one of the telecommunications services that have extended their coverage in rural Mongolia in the past decade.

A Country of Great Wealth and Great Contrasts

Mongolia is a country of great contrast but rapidly changing. It has enormous wealth, not only of minerals, but of the last large grassland expanses of great biodiversity and wilderness, of great cultural landscapes where they have been designated as World Cultural Heritage Sites that hold the cradle of nomadic civilization.These areas are still alive with the practice of nomadic livestock herding.

The great steppes of Mongolia, the Gobi desert, the wilderness areas of the northern forest , such as the Khan Khentii mountain ranges still remain in their grandeur, just as the idea of riding a horse in Mongolia is the imagination of many. Even well traveled people and former Presidents of the United States, cultivate it. On a recent Colbert Report, Bill Clinton shared with the world (or rather – Colbert Nation) that this is still one of the points on his bucket list.

Traveling to Mongolia

“Mongolia” still has the connotation of far flung and very remote. At the bank the other day, here in Oregon, the teller explained a service to me and illustrating how easily accessible it is she said: “You don’t need to go all the way to “Outer Mongolia”. I mentioned that I go there all the time, and I realized that “Mongolia” is still synonymous for many people with remoteness and wilderness. Well, rightly so if you are looking to spend a holiday, whether on horseback, camel back, hiking or a cross-country tour, to experience remoteness, wilderness and tranquility . However, getting there has become easy and does not take that long. Compare the real time travel to that of a coast to coast flight in the US, and you are surprised that you can be in Tokyo, Beijing or Seoul in about 10 hours from the US West coast, with another 3 hours’ flight taking you to Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia. From Europe, access is even faster, flying directly to Ulaanbaatar via Moscow, or taking the route through Beijing to Mongolia’s capital city. Which, with its modern high rises, traffic and coffee shops, will not reflect the old image of Mongolia. Yet, an hour’s drive from the city, you can find what you have imagined of rural life, stay with a herder’s family, and set out for a riding adventure into some of the premier parks of the country.

Adventure Travelers in Mongolia

Conversations with our guests, who come from all walks of life for a riding holiday in Mongolia, tell us that adventure travelers today want truly authentic experiences. They don’t want a preconceived and distorted picture, but rather want to see a country how it really is and meet and interact with the people to understand their life and concerns. That is the real adventure after all, and that is how travel can support understanding, worldwide.

We thrive to make such adventures possible at Stone Horse Expeditions & Travel.

Petroglyhs dating from periods over several thousand years speak of the rich human history of Mongolia. River crossings are a common feature of horseback tours with Stone Horse Expeditions & Travel in Gorkhi Terelj National Park, Mongolia. The tough Mongolian horses bring riders and packs safely across rivers and streams.

Watch the video: Mongolia: Soyombo, Sciamanesimo e Ovoo (May 2022).