I read the PM's letter to RIO's CEO as far more positive than reported.
Contrary to the article that appeared in The Australian on April 22nd, I read the letter attributed to the Mongolia PM, that appeared in UB Post, as very positive. The letter, dated March 27th, said: "Even though the updated Feasibility study will be delivered in Q2 2014, we are willing to complete the discussions immediately in Ulaanbaatar or London, with the full mandate to finalize the project financing before the lenders’ commitment deadline of March 31, 2014." What could be more positive than that offer?
The PM expressed some disappointment that RIO was proposing to seek an extension of lenders' commitments to the end of the year, when the PM was prepared to finalize the project financing before the deadline of the commitments on March 31st, only 4 days later!
The PM's letter clearly notes that the RIO press release requesting the prospective lenders to extend their commitments to year end was a "proposed" press release. It hadn't been issued. As I read it, the proposed press release may have simply been a way for RIO to apply more pressure to the GOM to achieve more favorable results to the remaining outstanding issues between them.