Newmont abandons mining arbitration case against Indonesia

Newmont abandons mining arbitration case against Indonesia

Aerial view of the Batu Hijau copper and gold mine.

US-based mining giant Newmont (NYSE:NEM) has withdrawn an international arbitration filing against the Indonesian government, signalling an imminent end to its seven-month dispute that forced it to stop copper exports.

The Colorado-based miner requested arbitration in early July, seeking interim, injunctive relief to resume exports of red metal concentrate. Indonesia responded by asking Newmont to withdraw the lawsuit or risk losing its mining license.

The parts, reports Reuters, have reached a "constructive solution" over new mining rules with Newmont’s Indonesian CEO Martiono Hadianto saying he expects to “soon” resume operations at Batu Hijau copper mine, halted since early June.

Newmont and rival Freeport-McMoRan (NYSE:FCX), which operates Grasberg —a much larger copper and gold mine in Indonesia—, had both opposed to export restrictions the Asian nation imposed in January, saying it breached their original contracts. They also wanted to be exempt from a new tax, which kicks in at 25% and increases to 60% in the second half of 2016, before a total concentrate export ban in 2017.

Freeport managed to reach a preliminary deal over its copper exports with Indonesian authorities and resumed exports earlier this month.

Newmont’s Batu Hijau copper and gold mine, on the island of Sumbawa Barat, began its operations in 2000. The company had forecasted copper concentrate output for 2014 at 110,000-125,000 tonnes before the new export rules.

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