Photos: Massive jams along China border clog Mongolia’s coal lifeline

Updated On Nov 15, 2017 01:30 PM IST

In Mongolia's Gobi desert, thousands of trucks laden with coal inch along a cluttered highway towards the Chinese border in a journey that can take more than a week. A rebound in coal prices and a surge in exports have meant a bonanza for miners but massive border jams threaten this lifeline vital to the country's economy.

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Thousands of heavy-duty trucks loaded with coal line up along the Mongolia-China border in the Gobi desert. A rebound in coal prices and a surge in exports to China this year have meant a bonanza for miners in Mongolia but long delays along the export route threaten this burgeoning lifeline in an ailing economy. (B. Rentsendorj / Reuters) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Nov 15, 2017 01:30 PM IST

Thousands of heavy-duty trucks loaded with coal line up along the Mongolia-China border in the Gobi desert. A rebound in coal prices and a surge in exports to China this year have meant a bonanza for miners in Mongolia but long delays along the export route threaten this burgeoning lifeline in an ailing economy. (B. Rentsendorj / Reuters)

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Trucks full of coal wait along the road at Tsagaan Khad, en route the border to China. Reeling after a financial crisis which forced a bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), coal exports are vital to Mongolia but the surge in traffic and an inability to stop cross-border smuggling have caused China to impose more stringent checks in recent months. (B. Rentsendorj / Reuters) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Nov 15, 2017 01:30 PM IST

Trucks full of coal wait along the road at Tsagaan Khad, en route the border to China. Reeling after a financial crisis which forced a bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), coal exports are vital to Mongolia but the surge in traffic and an inability to stop cross-border smuggling have caused China to impose more stringent checks in recent months. (B. Rentsendorj / Reuters)

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An environmental crackdown in China has resulted in the closure of hundreds of mines. Curbs on coal imports from North Korea as a result of international sanctions against Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program have also allowed Mongolia to fill the breach. (B. Rentsendorj / Reuters) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Nov 15, 2017 01:30 PM IST

An environmental crackdown in China has resulted in the closure of hundreds of mines. Curbs on coal imports from North Korea as a result of international sanctions against Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program have also allowed Mongolia to fill the breach. (B. Rentsendorj / Reuters)

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A truck driver washes himself with bottled water on the highway for delivering coal to China at Khangobd Soum in the Gobi desert, Mongolia. This serpentine crawl towards the border can take up to a week. (B. Rentsendorj / Reuters) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Nov 15, 2017 01:30 PM IST

A truck driver washes himself with bottled water on the highway for delivering coal to China at Khangobd Soum in the Gobi desert, Mongolia. This serpentine crawl towards the border can take up to a week. (B. Rentsendorj / Reuters)

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Truck drivers eat a dinner of instant noodles and dried beef inside a truck near the border with China, in Mongolia. Truckers cook, eat and sleep in vehicles covered in coal dust, many subsisting on the same meat soup. (B. Rentsendorj / Reuters) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Nov 15, 2017 01:30 PM IST

Truck drivers eat a dinner of instant noodles and dried beef inside a truck near the border with China, in Mongolia. Truckers cook, eat and sleep in vehicles covered in coal dust, many subsisting on the same meat soup. (B. Rentsendorj / Reuters)

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A woman stops to sell food to truck drivers near the border with China. A megaphone mounted on her car plays a recording letting drivers know she can offer food, water and fresh meat. Alongside the trucks a bustling micro economy has sprung up of traders peddling cigarettes, water and diesel as drivers wait to clear Chinese customs in a queue that can stretch for 130 kilometres. (B. Rentsendorj / Reuters) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Nov 15, 2017 01:30 PM IST

A woman stops to sell food to truck drivers near the border with China. A megaphone mounted on her car plays a recording letting drivers know she can offer food, water and fresh meat. Alongside the trucks a bustling micro economy has sprung up of traders peddling cigarettes, water and diesel as drivers wait to clear Chinese customs in a queue that can stretch for 130 kilometres. (B. Rentsendorj / Reuters)

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A photographer casts his shadow near a coal truck which flipped over at Khanbogd Soum, in the Gobi desert, Mongolia. Getting to the border can be a harrowing ordeal, as vehicles speed towards China and back down the one-lane road. With no street lamps to guide the way and drunk-driving a constant problem, danger levels increase at night. (B. Rentsendorj / Reuters) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Nov 15, 2017 01:30 PM IST

A photographer casts his shadow near a coal truck which flipped over at Khanbogd Soum, in the Gobi desert, Mongolia. Getting to the border can be a harrowing ordeal, as vehicles speed towards China and back down the one-lane road. With no street lamps to guide the way and drunk-driving a constant problem, danger levels increase at night. (B. Rentsendorj / Reuters)

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A truck driver repairs his truck on the side of the road near the China-Mongolia border. With Gobi miners hoping to boost output further next year in a bid to take advantage of higher prices in China the bottlenecks are expected to get worse. (B. Rentsendorj / Reuters) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Nov 15, 2017 01:30 PM IST

A truck driver repairs his truck on the side of the road near the China-Mongolia border. With Gobi miners hoping to boost output further next year in a bid to take advantage of higher prices in China the bottlenecks are expected to get worse. (B. Rentsendorj / Reuters)

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A portion of an unfinished railway project is seen in Khanbogd Soum in Mongolia. Miners say the long-term solution is a new rail link connecting mines with the Gashuun Sukhait crossing. Mongolia built more than 200 kilometres of foundations for railway tracks for the link but the project was put on hold after finances ran dry. (B. Rentsendorj / Reuters) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Nov 15, 2017 01:30 PM IST

A portion of an unfinished railway project is seen in Khanbogd Soum in Mongolia. Miners say the long-term solution is a new rail link connecting mines with the Gashuun Sukhait crossing. Mongolia built more than 200 kilometres of foundations for railway tracks for the link but the project was put on hold after finances ran dry. (B. Rentsendorj / Reuters)

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A man sits at the Tsagaan Khan rest spot for truck drivers near the China-Mogolia border. Whatever the fate of the railroad, those plying the roads have little choice but to keep driving given the lack of opportunities in a country strapped by austerity measures linked to the IMF bailout. (B. Rentsendorj / Reuters) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Nov 15, 2017 01:30 PM IST

A man sits at the Tsagaan Khan rest spot for truck drivers near the China-Mogolia border. Whatever the fate of the railroad, those plying the roads have little choice but to keep driving given the lack of opportunities in a country strapped by austerity measures linked to the IMF bailout. (B. Rentsendorj / Reuters)

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