Churchill Mining, Indonesia in talks to solve alleged fraud in coal project licencing

Churchill Mining, Indonesia in talks to solve alleged fraud in coal project licencing

The company’s East Kutai coal project. (Image courtesy of Churchill Mining)

Coal producer Churchill Mining (LON:CHL) and the government of Indonesia are said to be close to end a three-year long row over mining rights for one of the world's biggest coal reserves.

According to Reuters, the parties are holding talks aimed at reaching a final settlement following Indonesia’s last week decision to drop allegations that the miner had defrauded the state when buying the East Kalimantan coal project.

Since 2012, the British company has been locked in an international arbitration battle against Indonesia over ownership of the project, which Churchill estimates to be worth $1.5 billion.

Reuters sources said that while negotiations were ongoing, the legal or arbitration route would continue.

The miner has spent more than $10 million on its legal bid after claiming that it had been unfairly stripped of its licences and accused of fraud.

So far, Churchill has submitted in court detailed supporting evidence, which it said included final drafts of two of the four licences and register book evidence of the other two.

The firm argued that its case for damages would remain strong even if it lost a hearing on document authenticity scheduled to start in the first week of August.