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Newmont Mining Corporation (NYSE: NEM) (“Newmont” or “the Company”) today provided an update on export issues pertaining to PT Newmont Nusa Tenggara (“PTNNT”), which operates the Batu Hijau copper and gold mine on the island of Sumbawa in Indonesia.
Although Indonesian government officials have informed PTNNT that the ban on copper concentrate exports from Batu Hijau does not take effect until January 11, 2017, as provided for in recently issued regulations, the regulations also include new and potentially restrictive conditions to obtain an export permit, as well as a significant export duty. As PTNNT meets with government officials for further information and clarity regarding the new regulations, Newmont is evaluating potential impacts to its operating plans at Batu Hijau.
“The Contract of Work (CoW) signed with the Government of Indonesia provides PTNNT the right to export the copper concentrate produced at Batu Hijau’s processing facility,” said Blake Rhodes, Newmont’s Senior Vice President, Indonesia. “The CoW also explicitly sets the types and levels of taxes, levies, and duties PTNNT is required to pay, thereby establishing all tax obligations.”
PTNNT will continue to engage with government officials in Indonesia in an effort to resolve this issue, while also considering other remedies, including possible legal action. Newmont plans to provide an update on January 31, 2014, during a call with investors regarding the Company’s 2013 preliminary operating and sales results.
PTNNT is currently mining Phase Six of Batu Hijau, with plans to gain access to higher grade ore later this year. PTNNT does not have plans to export copper concentrate until later this quarter, as previously scheduled shipments were completed in early January.
The value added through Batu Hijau’s processing plant improves the quality of the copper ore mined by more than 50 times, capturing roughly 95 percent of the entire value stream in Indonesia. PTNNT also has supported in-country smelting for many years by shipping as much copper concentrate to PT Smelting Gresik – Indonesia's only copper smelter – as it can take from Batu Hijau.