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Staff writerJapan will pledge about 4 billion yen in official loans to Mongolia next week to help rebuild the impoverished and energy-strapped country’s Shivee-Ovoo Coal Mine, government officials said Oct. 2.The pledge for Shivee-Ovoo, Mongolia’s second largest coal mine, will be made Oct. 7 in Tokyo at the seventh annual meeting of the consultative group of aid donor countries and organizations for Mongolia, the officials said.The group’s meetings have been held here since 1991 under the cosponsorship of Japan and the World Bank to help Mongolia make the transition from a centrally planned, socialist-style economy to a free-market one. The officials said Japan will also pledge a few billion yen in grant-in-aid and technical cooperation for the current fiscal year, which ends in March.The loans for the mine will be used for the second phase of its rehabilitation project. Japan provided 5.8 billion yen in low-interest yen loans last fiscal year for the first phase of the project and for another one to rebuild the Baganuur Coal Mine, Mongolia’s largest.The loans to be pledged next week will carry an interest rate of 2.3 percent and are to be repaid over 30 years with a 10-year grace period. A contract for the Shivee-Ovoo project will be awarded through an internationally open competitive bidding.Mongolia, once a staunch ally of the former Soviet Union, has pushed ahead vigorously with democratic reforms and market-oriented economic reforms since the early 1990s.

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