Thu, 10 Mar 2005

Govt to seek $100m from Newmont

JAKARTA: The government plans to file a civil suit demanding that mining firm PT Newmont Minahasa Raya pay US$100 million in damages for allegedly polluting Buyat Bay in North Sulawesi.

State Minister of the Environment Rachmat Witoelar said on Wednesday the amount had been calculated based on the environmental damage allegedly caused by the firm.

"The calculation includes the cost of rehabilitating the coastline, for example," he said after meeting with Vice President Jusuf Kalla.

The firm is also facing criminal charges over the alleged pollution, but no date has been set for the start of the trial.

Separately, Newmont said that it had not received any official notification or summons from the court regarding the lawsuit. -- JP