"The government's initiatives to encourage exploration through airborne geophysics programs and policy reforms reflect a positive shift."

Munkhtogtokh Ts

FOUNDER, GEOMASTER

May 24, 2024

Could you introduce the business to our international audience?

Geomaster, a leading integrated geospatial solutions company, proudly commemorates 25 years in the market. Founded in 1998, our journey began as a specialized geodetic and geophysics entity, primarily supporting the mining and exploration sectors across Mongolia. Mining stands as the cornerstone of Mongolia's economy, contributing significantly and accounting for over 90% of our export revenue. However, in the past decade, unfriendly government policies led to the departure of several foreign investors, resulting in a shift for our company. While previously 70% of our revenue stemmed from mining-related services, today, only half is attributed to this sector.

Could you elaborate on the expertise that Geomaster provides to the industry? 

There are over 200 companies in Mongolia that are licensed to perform geodetic surveys, so the market is oversaturated, and the number of players outweighs demand. To adequately compete, we needed to stay ahead with the best people and the best equipment. We prioritized quality over everything else, therefore Geomaster won most of the big projects in the country, 

Notably, our enduring partnership with Oyu Tolgoi spans 22 years, reflecting our commitment to providing diverse geodetic services, from surveying to 3D scanning and aerial imagery. Collaborating with world-class miners such as Rio Tinto has empowered us to elevate our standards and adopt cutting-edge systems.

Over our 25+ years of experience, we have developed international-standard know-how, technology, and equipment to meet the requirements of international companies. Although starting from a base of just a handful of employees, we now have a team of 56 permanent staff, and we consistently invest in up-skilling and training to keep up with the latest innovations. Our collaborations as a reseller for global brands like Trimble and exclusive distributor for Airbus Defence and Space satellite solutions underscore our commitment to international standards.

What are some recent/important projects you have worked on, besides the OT?

Beyond our flagship Oyu Tolgoi project, our endeavors span pivotal initiatives. Our involvement in mapping Mongolia and creating a centralized e-Mongolian cadastral platform signifies our commitment to technological advancement and environmental preservation. Notably, we spearheaded a project to recover sunken cars in Hövsgöl lake, safeguarding Mongolia's largest source of fresh water.

Do you expect exploration to be revived in the coming years?

Looking ahead, we're optimistic about the revival of exploration in Mongolia. The government's initiatives to encourage exploration through airborne geophysics programs and policy reforms reflect a positive shift. This, coupled with a newfound commitment to investor protection, heralds a promising future. 

What are your objectives for 2024 and beyond?

Mongolia is not fully mapped. Only 45% of Mongolia’s territory is covered by a 1:25,000 scale map, but the government plans to cover the remaining 55% by 2025 to provide a first layer of understanding of the country’s geological makeup to attract further investment. Geomaster plans to participate in the open tender for the large survey. Moreover, we want to also be a part of the bidding process for the next exploration projects, partnering with explorers coming into the country to provide geophysical studies and help them advance in identifying the best targets.

Do you have a final message for our international readers?

In closing, Mongolia beckons with untapped geological potential. We extend an invitation to foreign investors, assuring them of a conducive investment climate and the prospect of mutually beneficial collaborations. Mongolia's promise lies in its unexplored resources, awaiting the spark of investment for transformative growth and our company is fully ready to support you in smooth operation in Mongolia.

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