The Chief Executive at Newmont Nusa Tenggara, Martiono Hadianto, said that on Wednesday evening (03/09) a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between the USA- based mining giant and the Indonesian government after an 8-month dispute over the country’s ban on exports of mineral ore (implemented on 12 January 2014). The mining company can now resume copper concentrate exports next week. Earlier this week it had been announced that both sides would come to an agreement.
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The Indonesian government and Newmont Nusa Tenggara (NNT) have reportedly agreed on the content of a renegotiation package after an 8-month dispute over the mineral ore export ban. NNT, subsidiary of the USA-based Newmont Mining Corporation, will be allowed to resume copper concentrate exports up to 200,000 tons (with a value of about USD $400 million) until the end of 2014. Last week, NNT already announced it would not seek international arbitration over this matter.
Indonesia's Minister for Energy and Mineral Resources Jero Wacik opened the possibility for Newmont Nusa Tenggara, subsidiary of US-based gold miner Newmont Mining Corporation, to resume exports of ore concentrates, provided that Newmont shows its commitment to build a smelter in Indonesia as in accordance with the new and controversial 2009 Mining Law. One of the targets of this new law is to boost Indonesia’s downstream mining industry by prohibiting export of unprocessed minerals.
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The wide current account deficit of Indonesia is expected to have eased in the third quarter of 2014. According to information from the country’s central bank, the current account deficit narrowed to 3.1 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in Q3-2014 from 4.27 percent of GDP in the previous quarter. A deficit below the level of 3 percent of GDP is generally regarded as a sustainable level. The improvement in Q3-2014 is mainly due to resumed mineral exports after the government and several miners managed to finalize renegotiations.
Newmont Nusa Tenggara (NNT), subsidiary of US-based mining company Newmont Mining Corp, has received a permit from the Indonesian government to export 350,000 metric tons of copper concentrate in the next three years. Three weeks ago it became known that both parties agreed on the content of a renegotiation package after an eight-month dispute over Indonesia’s mineral ore export ban, implemented on 12 January 2014 (part of the New Mining Law). In the remainder of 2014, the company is expected to export 160,000 tons.
Reportedly, Newmont Nusa Tenggara (NNT) will not seek international arbitration at the Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) in Washington (USA). Previously, the miner threatened to file for arbitration in an attempt to force the Indonesian government to cancel the recently introduced ban on exports of unprocessed minerals as well as to abort higher export duties. NNT is a subsidiary of Newmont Mining Corporation that operates the Batu Hijau mine, an open pit copper and gold mine in Sumbawa.
Whether Newmont Nusa Tenggara (NNT) will file for international arbitration over a six-month old export dispute with the Indonesian government remains unclear. Although many analysts would like to see international arbitration over this case, such a step would imply several risks for the copper miner (which is for 56 percent owned by US-based Newmont Mining Corporation and Japan’s Nusa Tenggara Mining Corporation). The source of the dispute is Indonesia’s recently-introduced ban on exports of ore concentrates.
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