Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : Industry Minister makes historic visit to Mongolia to boost UK critical minerals supply chains [October 2023]

The press release issued by the Department for Business and Trade on 30 October 2023.

Industry Minister Nusrat Ghani is in Mongolia in an historic visit to boost the UK’s critical minerals supply chains.

  • Industry Minister Nusrat Ghani visits Mongolia to unlock opportunities for UK mining businesses and bolster UK’s minerals supply chain.
  • Visit marks 60th anniversary of UK being first Western country to establish diplomatic relations with Mongolia.
  • Minister to explore significant opportunities for UK mining businesses with mineral-rich Mongolia and promote UK renewable energy sector.

In an historic visit to Mongolia today, Industry Minister Nusrat Ghani will boost opportunities for UK businesses across the critical minerals supply chain, bolster trade and investment ties and mark the 60th anniversary of the UK establishing diplomatic relations with the mineral-rich East Asian country.

By 2040 the world will need four times more critical minerals than it does today, and during her visit Minister Ghani will engage with senior Mongolian government and business leaders to explore the significant opportunities available for UK businesses across the critical minerals supply chain, in particular surveying and extraction.

The visit will also build on the UK’s already strong trade relationship with Mongolia, which was worth more than £200 million in 2022.

During her visit, the Minister will also take part in commemorative events in the capital of Ulaanbaatar to mark the landmark 60th anniversary of the UK being the first Western country to establish diplomatic relations with Mongolia.

Recognising the potential of strengthening centuries-old economic and social ties the UK became the first Western country to establish diplomatic relations in 1963, after supporting Mongolia’s bid to join the UN in 1961 which paved the way to establishing relations.

Minister for Industry and Economic Security Nusrat Ghani said:

By 2040 the world will need four times more critical minerals than it does today, and there are huge opportunities for us to work together with Mongolia to help secure the UK’s minerals supply chain and grow the industries of the future.

I’m pleased to be here in Ulaanbaatar to build on our historic relationship with Mongolia and unlock even more opportunities for UK businesses in our world-class industries, from transport to green energy and mining sectors.

In addition to meeting senior government leaders, including the Mongolian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Economic Development, the Minister will also engage with the Mongolian private sector and business community to hear first-hand about their successes and challenges, and how the UK can work together with them to boost growth and prosperity.

The Minister will also meet representatives of Rio Tinto – the world’s second-largest mining company, who have invested almost $16 billion in partnership with the Government of Mongolia to develop the Oyu Tolgoi mine in the south Gobi Desert – on how UK businesses in the critical minerals supply chain can capitalise on Rio Tinto’s investment.

During her trip, Minister Ghani will promote the UK’s capabilities across renewable energy and other sectors spanning the critical minerals supply chain, as well as the UK’s export finance offer to help support large-scale infrastructure projects in Mongolia, which could transform the country’s industry and energy supplies for the future as it aims to reduce dependency on fossil fuels and build a sustainable future.

Minister Ghani’s visit also builds on the historic meeting of the Minerals Security Partnership (MSP) group held during London Metals Exchange Week earlier this month, which marked the first time the UK has hosted the meeting.

The MSP is a group of 14 partners that aims to catalyse investment in responsible critical minerals supply chains globally, and the meeting this month brought Mongolia and a number of other mineral-rich nations together with the core partners to discuss opportunities to boost critical minerals investment even further.


  • Mining is a large economic sector in Mongolia: the country has large mineral deposits including gold, copper and coal. There is significant opportunity for UK companies in mining exploration, extraction and production, equipment supply, technology, related research and consultancy services.
  • Total UK exports to Mongolia for the four quarters to the end of Q1 2023 were £129 million. (Source: ONS UK total trade: all countries, seasonally adjusted)