Newmont seeks to resume renegotiation with Indonesia

Newmont seeks to resume renegotiation with Indonesia

JAKARTA, July 17 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. giant Newmont corporation 's wanted to return to renegotiation table with the Indonesia over its contract work after the miner filed a lawsuit against the Indonesian government's on export ban policy to the international arbitration, a minister disclosed here on Thursday.

The Indonesian government slapped a broad export ban on mineral ores in January this year, which has led subsidiary of Newmont corporation in Indonesia PT Newmont Nusa Tenggara (PNTT) stop operation on its copper mine on Batu Hijau in East Nusa Tenggara of central Indonesia and declared a force majeure on the mine.

Indonesian Economic Chief Minister Chairul Tanjung stated that the government hailed the Newmont's intention, which was delivered by its subsidiary, but requested the miner to withdraw its lawsuit before the talks start.

"Today (Thursday) I got information that Newmont wants to come back to renegotiation table," Chairul said at the State Palace.

"It is a must for the firm to lift its lawsuit. If it does not withdraw it there will be no renegotiation," he stressed.

The Newmont intention was conveyed when President Director of PNTT Martiono Hadianto was meeting with Deputy Energy and Mines Minister Susilo Siswoutomo on Thursday morning, Energy and Mines Minister Jero Wacik disclosed at the State Palace on Thursday.

"They (Newmont) said it will start to return to renegotiation," said Jero.

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono told a cabinet meeting on Thursday to make a preparation to face the miner's complaint on the international arbitration, Minister Chairul revealed.

"The guidance of the president is clear, we will conduct a preparation. The appointment of lawyers and others would be processed soon," he revealed.

So far, Newmont has not lifted the lawsuit, and Indonesia does not hope that Newmont is only buying time, he added.

Under the export ban, the government still allowed miners who is committed to build smelter and exports raw mining product, but they were subject to punitive export tax from 25 to 60 percent by 2017.

PNTT has been in dispute with the government over an escalating export tax.

The firm said that the export ban and the export tax policies are against the contract of work and bilateral investment deal.

The Indonesian government aims to restrict shipment of raw mining products to overseas as an effort to ramp up downstream sector which may allow it to extract more revenue.