The UB Post reported that the General Intelligence Agency of Mongolia believes that there is a network of Chinese smuggling toxic chemicals into Ulaanbaatar and then from there out to the illegal (and possibly legal) mining operations. The chemicals are used to refine gold and a Chinese national was arrested in UB for having three tons of it in his possession.
Given the length of the border between Mongolia and China (over 4,000 kms) and given the remoteness of some areas of it, finding how it is smuggled in may be difficult. I can’t believe that too many legitimate mining concerns would be buying smuggled chemicals as they would normally have contracts for the supply of these chemicals in bulk. It would seem then that the major users of the chemicals are likely to be the illegal miners, the “ninja”. Solve the problem of the ninja and the smuggling of chemicals will be less attractive.
At the same time, I think China must start to take a more proactive role in protecting its borders from outgoing goods as much as from incoming ones.