Bayan Airag Exploration LLC is an exploration and mining company, operating a gold and silver mine in Durvuljin soum, Zavkhan province. It is the first mine to be established in Zavkhan province. The company carried out exploration activities between 2002-2007 in Urgamal, Zavkhanmandal, Durvuljin, Erdenesaikhan and Santmargats soums located in the northwest part of Zavkhan province. Exploration findings were submitted on 28 January 2008 to the Professional Council on Mineral Resources for review. On 12 February 2008, the mine reserves were registered in the national mineral resource record by the 47th decree of the chairperson of the Mineral Resources and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (MRPRA). On 24 March 2008, Bayan Airag Exploration LLC received a gold and copper mine operation license from the chairperson of the MRPRA with a 30-year term. Bayan Airag Exploration makes a significant contribution to local development.
The project site is located 1500 – 2500 meters above sea level in territory of Durvuljin soum, Zavkhan province. It’s approximately 1,200 km from Ulaanbaatar city, 150 km from Uliastai city, and 20 km from the center of soum in the western outskirts of Khangai Mountains. The project area has a harsh climate with very low precipitation all year around. In summer, the temperature reaches up to +40°C and in winter it goes down to -40°C. In a semi-desert area of the project, dust storms are regular during summer and snowstorms during winter time.
Bayan Airag mine uses open-pit mining techniques. Open-pit is a surface mining technique where gold is extracted by cutting the pit open, crushing, heaping, and leaching ore. In the first phase, ore and surrounding waste rocks are removed from an open-pit. Then ore is hauled for less than 1km to a stockpile area. Lastly, the stockpiled ore is then crushed, leached and processed.