JAKARTA, June 5 (Reuters) - Newmont Mining Corp said on Thursday it has notified the Indonesian government that it is invoking force majeure at its Batu Hijau copper mine and plans to put most of the mine’s employees on leave with reduced pay.
Newmont and fellow miner Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc - who account for 97 percent of Indonesia’s copper output - are in disupute with the government over an export tax imposed in January.
“Despite our best efforts, we have not been able to export copper concentrate since January, and we still do not have an export permit,” Martiono Hadianto, CEO of Newmont’s Indonesian operations said in a statement. “We are left with no option but to declare force majeure.”
Newmont will continue selling copper concentrate from storage to Indonesia’s only copper smelter, PT Smelting at Gresik, through 2014, said the statement, which came after a new government drive this week to force a breakthrough. (Reporting by Michael Taylor and Fergus Jensen; Writing by Michael Taylor; Editing by Richard Pullin)