UPDATE 2-Newmont seeks injunction to reopen Indonesia copper mine - CEO

Thu Aug 7, 2014 1:59am EDT
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* Injunction to reopen mine could take months to obtain

* Newmont prefers to resolve Indonesia dispute through talks

* CEO says open to reviving merger talks with Barrick (Adds CEO comments on Indonesia, Barrick, Australia operations)

By Sonali Paul

MELBOURNE, Aug 7 (Reuters) - Newmont Mining Corp said on Thursday it is applying for an injunction to get workers back to its Batu Hijau mine as it fights a controversial tax on copper exports that led the company to halt shipments from Indonesia this year.

The top U.S. gold miner stopped exporting copper concentrate from the mine on the Indonesian island of Sumbawa in January after the government introduced an escalating tax on metal concentrates in a push to force miners to build smelters in the Southeast Asian country.

Newmont has taken a hard line against the tax by filing for international arbitration against the state, arguing that the export tax violates the company's investment agreement with the country.

Newmont CEO Gary Goldberg told an industry function in Melbourne that the company would seek interim injunctive relief from the arbitration panel to reopen the mine and resume exports, ahead of the outcome of the arbitration.

"We estimate it could take several months to obtain a ruling on interim relief and at least several weeks to ramp back up to full production if that relief is granted," Goldberg said in a speech.   Continued...