Center: Erdenet, located 371 km from Ulaanbaatar.
Established: 1994 year
Population: 100’731
Area: 844 km2
Ethnic group: Khalkh, Durvud, Buryat, Bayad, Uriankhai and Khoton


Erdenet city, one of the greatest constructions of the 20th century, was initially established as Erdenet khoroo (administrative unit  )of Bulgan province, on January 1st of 1976 later it was extended to Erdenet city, and is currently the third largest city of Mongolia. In 1994, according to the territorial-administrative reforms, it was re structured as Orkhon province with two sums, Bayan-Undur and Jargalant.          

Jargalant sum has over 3000 people, 80,000 heads of livestock and is an agriculture region.  The reason for Erdenet's existence is the copper mine, which employs about 8000 people and is the lifeblood of the city. Erdenet is modern (built in 1974) and a bit soulless, but far nicer than most towns in the countryside. It is comparatively wealthy, so the facilities are the best outside of Ulaanbaatar. There is also a significantly large Russian community. Up to a third of the population of Erdenet was Russian during Communist times, though now only about 1000 Russians still work as technical advisers at the mine.

There is evidence that Mongolians were making copper pots in the Erdenet area at least 200 years ago. Russian geologists initially recognized the area's potential during the 1940s. The copper was first seriously prospected during the 1960s, and by 1977 a train line to Ulaanbaatar was installed for hauling the ore. In 1981 an ore-processing plant was commissioned and Erdenet began exporting copper concentrate (30% copper), mostly to the former Soviet Union.

You can see the Mongolian transportation page. One daily night train leaving at 20:20 from Ulaanbaatar, arriving at 07:45 the next day. Train leaves Erdenet at 19:40 and arrive first in Darkhan at 00:35 (next day) and in UB at 07:40. Four coaches daily, mini-vans and car service from Ulaanbaatar's Dragon coach station (West of the town, on Peace avenue). First class train is about USD20. Dining car on the train with Mongolian food, fruit juice, soft drinks, beer, snacks, etc.

The third class ("common") train is the cheapest way to go to Erdenet: 6,800 ₮. Mini-vans will then drive you from the station to the city centre (8 km from the station) for 800 ₮. Coaches go from Ulaanbaatar for 11,000 ₮ and can take more for extra luggage.

The road is paved all the way from Ulaanbaatar, but it is two lane and not well maintained. Some people avoid the car and mini-van services because the drivers tend to drive too fast and there are many accidents.