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Newmont seeks injunction to reopen Indonesia copper mine
August 7, 2014

Newmont Mining Corp. said it is applying for an injunction to get workers back to its Batu Hijau Mine in Indonesia as it fights a controversial tax on copper exports that led the company to halt shipments this year.

Newmont halted its copper concentrate exports after the government of Indonesia introduced an escalating tax on metal concentrates in a push to force miners to build smelters in the country.

Newmont has taken a hard line against the tax by filing for international arbitration against the state, arguing that the export tax violates the company's investment agreement with the country, Reuters reported.

Newmont CEO Gary Goldberg told an industry function in Melbourne that the company would seek interim injunctive relief from the arbitration panel to reopen the mine and resume exports, ahead of the outcome of the arbitration.

"We estimate it could take several months to obtain a ruling on interim relief and at least several weeks to ramp back up to full production if that relief is granted," Goldberg said in a speech.

Newmont halted copper mining at Batu Hijau on June 5, saying its concentrate storage facilities were full.

Despite the dispute, Newmont still considered Indonesia a "great place" to be working in the long term, Goldberg said.

He stressed Newmont would continue to try to resolve the dispute through talks with the government while also pursuing the arbitration, but said he had no plans to visit Indonesia while he was in the Asia-Pacific region over the next week.

 

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