JAKARTA, March 26 Newmont Mining Corp
has cut production at its Indonesian copper and gold mine by 70
percent, a mining ministry official said on Wednesday, as a
dispute over a newly introduced export tax has dragged on for
more than two months.
Indonesia implemented a ban on mineral ore exports and
introduced an escalating export tax for concentrates in January
to encourage mineral processing domestically in order to
increase the value of exports. However, the new rules have left
the mining sector in turmoil.
"Newmont's production until today is only 30 percent," the
government's mineral enterprise director, Dede Suhendra, told
reporters. He added that Newmont was yet to resume exports since
January, and was now only sending concentrates to Indonesia's
sole copper smelter at Gresik.
Newmont could not be reached immediately for comment.
The company, which runs the Batu Hijau mine in Indonesia and
was forecast to produce between 75-90 million pounds of copper
last year, said last month that it expects normal mining
operations to continue at the mine in Indonesia for at least the
next two months.
(Reporting by Wilda Asmarini; Writing by Michael Taylor;
Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)