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Newmont seeks outside help on Indonesian export tax

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Escalating taxes on metal concentrates in Indonesia which prompted Newmont Mining to cease operations at the Batu Hijau copper mine will be subject of an international arbitration panel, a process that may take several months according to Newmont CEO Gary Goldberg.

In the meantime, Newmont has applied for interim injunctive relief in order to reopen the mine and resume exports.

The interim action would mean that operations could resume within a few weeks.

Newmont was forced to stop production at the mine on June 5 because its concentrate storage facilities were full, due to their refusal to export any more copper concentrate under the higher tax regime.

Newmont has argued that the export tax violates to company’s investment agreement with the Indonesian government.

Goldberg said that despite the dispute, Newmont still considered Indonesia a "great place" to be working in the long term.

Goldberg said Newmont would continue to try to resolve the dispute through talks with the government while also pursuing the arbitration.

“Arbitration isn't necessarily the way I'd like to resolve this,” he said.

“I'd rather resolve it through negotiation with either the current government or the incoming government, if it goes that long.”

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