Newmont stops copper output at Indonesia mine

Newmont stops copper output at Indonesia mine

Aerial view of the Batu Hijau copper and gold mine.

Newmont Mining Corp. (NYSE:NEM) subsidiary in Indonesia said Tuesday it has stopped copper concentrate output from its Batu Hijau mine, adding that the results of government talks this week would determine the future of its employees.

As warned in May, the Colorado, US-based mining giant has been hit hard by Indonesia’s mineral export ban imposed in January and the introduction of a higher tax on copper concentrate exports.

The company said its storage facilities at the copper and gold Batu Hijau mine have reached full capacity and that it is still trying to delay putting its employees on paid leave at reduced compensation, in anticipation of a ministerial meeting this week.

“[The meeting] is intended to clarify the conditions under which copper concentrate exports will be permitted. The company is communicating with employees about the situation and most are prepared to be on standby at reduced pay, should that become necessary,” the miner said in today’s statement.

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.

The company has made it clear the ban is a pressing issue, which has already affected its ratings.

Other than copper and gold, Indonesia is the world’s premier thermal coal exporter, a nickel, bauxite and tin powerhouse.

Image from archives