* No MoU yet, deal needs approval from many government
* Newmont likely to resume copper concentrate exports this
* May ship up to 50,000 T to Japan, Thailand and Spain
By Wilda and Asmarini
JAKARTA, Sept 2 Newmont Mining Corp has
reached a tentative agreement with the Indonesian government on
contract renegotiations, the CEO of the firm's local unit said,
as both sides moved closer to ending an eight-month tax dispute
that halted copper exports.
U.S.-based Newmont has been in a dispute with the Indonesian
government over an export tax imposed in January that the firm
said conflicted with its mining contract. It declared force
majeure at its Batu Hijau copper mine on the remote Sumbawa
island in June and filed for international arbitration in July.
But in a breakthrough to the increasingly acrimonious spat,
Newmont withdrew its arbitration filing late last month and was
expected to resume exports this week.
Discussions with Sukhyar, the director-general of coal and
minerals at Indonesia's mining ministry, on the key issues being
renegotiated have concluded, said Newmont's Indonesian Chief
Executive Martiono Hadianto. "We have reached a deal," he said.
The six points agreed in the renegotiations included
royalties, size of mining and exploration area, domestic
processing and divestment obligations and possible mining
contract extension. Newmont has already agreed to pay an export
tax, government officials have previously said.
Although an agreement has been reached in principle, the
deal still needs to be approved by several government officials,
including Chief Economics Minister Chairul Tanjung, before a
Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is signed by both parties.
Newmont is likely to resume exports this week by shipping up
to 50,000 tonnes of copper concentrate to Japan, Thailand and
Spain, Sukhyar said.
Before Indonesia's new export rules kicked in, Newmont had
forecast total copper concentrate output from its Indonesian
mine at 110,000 tonnes to 125,000 tonnes this year.
"I'll pray and hope we can sign an MoU tomorrow," Hadianto
(Writing by Michael Taylor; Editing by Himani Sarkar)