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JAKARTA, July 17 (Reuters) - Indonesia's government may offer Newmont Mining Corp's copper contract to state-owned Aneka Tambang (Antam) if the U.S. company does not quickly resume production, a government official said on Thursday.
The government has threatened to terminate Newmont's mining contract after the U.S. company halted production and filed legal arbitration over the country's new export tax.
Indonesia plans to soon send a leter to Newmont saying that the company has defaulted on its contract, said Sukhyar, director general of coal and minerals at the mining ministry.
"The default is due to the stopping of production, so we can say they are negligent," Sukhyar told reporters.
Newmont officials were not immediately available for comment. (Reporting by Wilda Asmarini and Fergus Jensen; Editing by Richard Pullin)