Thu, 10 Mar 2005

Newmont mulls bringing case to arbitration court

Embattled PT Newmont Minahasa Raya said on Wednesday it was considering taking the government to an international arbitration court following the environment minister's move to file a civil suit against the company. Earlier in the day, State Minister of the Environment Rachmat Witoelar said the government was seeking US$100 million in damages from Newmont for the alleged pollution of Buyat Bay in North Sulawesi. Newmont's lawyer Luhut Pangaribuan said that the minister's move was a "blunder" because it was against the contract of work signed between the government and the company. In the contract, Luhut said any dispute between the two parties must be referred to the international arbitration court. "We are confident that we will win in the case (at the arbitration court) because the government has made a blunder by filing the civil suit with the South Jakarta District Court," he said. -- Antara