Interviewee ID: 990090
Parent's name: Arslan
Year of Birth: 1951
Occupations: Engineer, founder of Nalaih cultural, children's development center museum
Notes on education:
Born in: Choibalsan sum, Dornod aimag
Lives in: Nalaih sum (or part of UB), Ulaanbaatar aimag
Mother's profession: pharmacist (Аптекийн эм найруулагч)
Father's profession: lawyer
To read a full interview with Ganbold please click on the Interview ID below.
Summary of Interview 090112A with Ganbold by Ariun-Undrah
Ganbold A was born on April 23, 1950 in Choibalsan city, center of Dornod aimag. His family moved to Öndörhaan sum of Hentii aimag when he was a child. Completing the 7th grade, he was admitted to the Teacher’s University and became a teacher of primary school mathematics at 18. He was called to the army while he was working as a teacher. When he was discharged, his father was appointed as procurator for the Nalaih Mine, so he moved with his family there. Ganbold started working for the mine, enrolled in and graduated from the Polytechnic Institute as a mining electro-mechanic engineer. Consequently, he worked as trade union chairman for the Nalaih mine since 1977. He was a training engineer until the mining company was closed. Just after that he became a correspondent at “Labour” newspaper. He initiated and established “Treasure man” (Erdenet hün), a non-governmental organization of Mongolian miners when he was working for “Labour” newspaper. This non-governmental organization had striven for legal compensation to people who were accident victims when they were working for Nalaih Mine. So, his life is tied strongly with the Nalaih mine for 40 years. This mine was closed down on October 1995 by the order of Minister Jigjid’s.
A huge disaster was occurred when he worked for the mine. A methane explosion occurred around 5.30 in the morning on December 17, 1991. When the methane explosion occurred deep in the mine, there was no oxygen. Twenty people were killed and many more were injured. It used to be called the biggest disaster in Mongolian industrial history.
Ganbold talked about his history at Nalaih Mine in detail. When he took his first steps at Nalaih Mine, he was appointed to a higher position even though he was a low-rank worker. The reason was that he was a member of the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party although he was only 26 years old. Even if he was selected for the position of chairman, he did the lower-ranked jobs for several months. It gave him experience and proper knowledge about his workers, which was useful in his work as chairman. Also, Russian and Ukraine professionals came and taught many things in the mining sector during that period. Russian professionals did the same work, wore the same uniforms, and used the same tools like the Mongolian workers. After teaching what they knew for several months, they tested the workers. This process produced a skillful workforce. He recalled that generally Russian professionals worked and lived there until the 1990 democratic revolution.
Summary of Interview 090112B with Ganbold by Ariun-Undrah
Nalaih mine worked 24 hours non-stop during the socialist period. To do so there were three shifts. Nalaih was involved in coal mining. It used to send 1000 tons of coal to Ulaanbaatar per shift. The main part of the mine was 250-350 meters below the surface. Air had to be supplied because there was no air at such a depth. It meant that all the workers worked in a dangerous environment. Nalaih mine, which started operating in 1922, was the closest to the capital Ulaanbaatar. It was located 35 km away and had the goal of satisfying Ulaanbaatar’s coal demand. Firstly, the mine extracted coal manually, then with high capacity machinery from Russia since 1956. Workers from every corner of Mongolia together their families gathered and settled down in Nalaih due to its mine and established a city called Nalaih. Although working conditions were tough and workers worked under a strange motto “Extract coal no matter what happens”, the worker's safety was well-looked after. So, accidents were rare and the mining administration and government was really responsible for everything if an accident occurred.
Ganbold went to the Soviet Union first in 1981 for 7th Olympiad of Mongolian and Russian youth and students. One hundred youth each from Russia and Mongolia participated in this Olympiad and relaxed near Lake Baikal.