Govt asks Newmont to drop arbitration suit

"The Indonesian government will take action legally, with a high call, that may harm Newmont," Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Chairul Tanjung said.
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian government has asked copper and gold mining company PT Newmont Nusa Tenggara to drop its international arbitration against a ban on the export of concentrate minerals.

"The Indonesian government will take action legally, with a high call, that may harm Newmont," Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Chairul Tanjung said after a coordination meeting here on Monday.

Chairul said the government had given Newmont a chance to return to the negotiation table rather than to refer the issue of unsettled renegotiation contract to the international court of arbitration.

"Once again, we have provided a chance to Newmont to return to the negotiation table to resolve the existing agreement according to the mineral and coal law and to drop its arbitrary suit in order to become a good partner," he said.

He assured that the government will always protect the interests of foreign and domestic investors, but if Newmont insisted on referring the issue to the international court of arbitration the government was ready to face it.

"Basically, the government is always eager to protect the existing interests, including those of domestic and foreign investors. But if Newmont takes a different stand, the government has no other option but to take a step that will certainly harm Newmont," he said.

While awaiting Newmonts commitment, the government had prepared legal steps including coordination among relevant ministries to anticipate the possibility of Newmont continuing its suit with the international court of arbitration.

"That is the point. Therefore, we will request the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry and the Investment Coordinating Board to ask Newmont to return to the negotiation table and drop its arbitration suit," he said.

On July 1, PT Newmont Nusa Tenggara and Nusa Tenggara Partnership BV had filed a suit with the international court of arbitration against the ban on the export of concentrates.(*)

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