South Korea said the bidding process for Mongolia's Tavan Tolgoi coal project was "unclear and unfair" and its companies were excluded from the three shortlisted groups to develop the project.
Mongolia said it picked U.S. miner Peabody Energy, China's Shenhua and a Russian-Mongolia consortium out of six preferred bidders. South Korea said the Mongolian government asked the preferred bidders in April to form a grand consortium for the project and bidders have been in talks to meet the request.
"While we were still in talks, the Mongolian government unilaterally announced three shortlisted bidders," Seoul's Energy Ministry said in a statement. Mongolia picked a newly formed Russian-Mongolian consortium and excluded Korean and Japanese firms, it said.