This article examines the politics of gold mining in the Mongolian cultural region during the Qing period and today. By drawing on archival material and accounts by travellers of the period, the authors situate the current mining boom within its greater historical context. Since the exploration of gold has been surrounded by enduring notions of exclusivity and purity, the article shows how mining for gold has historically been closely related to Mongolian practices of political rulership. By examining the current mining boom in Mongolia from a broader historical perspective, the article argues that this extractive economy involves much more than a search for profit
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