Indonesia says to take stern action against Newmont over contract dispute

JAKARTA, July 24 Thu Jul 24, 2014 4:49am EDT

JAKARTA, July 24 (Reuters) - Indonesia's president has said the government will take stern action against Newmont Mining Corp, which has filed for international arbitration over the country's mineral export tax, the country's chief economics minister quoted him as saying.

The comments by Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono are the harshest so far in the months' long dispute over new rules intended to derive more income from the country's huge mineral resources. A Newmont spokesman had said on Wednesday it was negotiating with Indonesia to resume copper concentrate exports after it sought arbitration of the issue.

"The government will take stern action towards Newmont," chief economics minister Chairul Tanjung quoted Yudhoyono as saying. He added that the president had expressed disappointment over Newmont's attitude and said it did not value working in Indonesia. (Reporting by Jakarta Bureau, Writing by Fergus Jensen and Jonathan Thatcher; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)

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