From Government of Indonesia

Newmont Considers New Investment


Newmont said it will proceed with plans to expand its gold and copper output in Indonesia following the decision of a court in North Sulawesi to acquit a subsidiary, PT Newmont Minahasa Raya (NMR) and its president director, Richard B Ness, of pollution and environmental damage.

A panel of judges said Tuesday (24/4/07) that the data submitted by the public prosecutors to support their charges differed from those presented by a number of national and international research centers.

Following the verdict, Newmont's vice president for Indonesia and Australia, Robert Gallagher, told Dow Jones Newswires that, in light of the acquittal, the company will now assess the possibility of expanding copper and gold output at its Batu Hijau mine on Sumba island by 30%-40%.

Gallagher said that Batu Hijau produces around 500,000 troy ounces of gold a year, and just over 270,000 metric tons of copper. According to data from the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry, Newmont produced about 732,000 troy ounces of gold and 270,344 tons of copper last year.

Gallagher said Newmont's expansion plans at its Batu Hijau mine also depend on technical evaluations of the site's untapped metals deposits.

Newmont is the operator of Batu Hijau and owns a 45% stake in the mine. Japan's Sumitomo Corp. (SSUMY) and Indonesia's PT Pukuafu Indah own the remaining stake in the mine, which is located on the island of Sumbawa.
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