On 1 July, PT Newmont Nusa Tenggara and its majority Dutch shareholder Nusa Tenggara Partnership BV, announced that they have filed international investment arbitration proceedings against the Indonesian Government to seek relief from export restrictions that have halted production at the Batu Hijau mine and are said to have inflicted hardship and economic loss on PT Newmont Nusa Tenggara’s employees, contractors, and other stakeholders.
The claimants allege that the government’s imposition of new export conditions, a new export duty and a ban on the export of copper concentrate breach PT Newmont Nusa Tenggara’s Contract of Work with the Indonesian Government, and the bilateral investment treaty between Indonesia and the Netherlands. The claimants have indicated that they will seek interim injunctive relief, so that work at the mine can resume.
This claim follows an announcement earlier this year that Indonesia intended to cancel all of its 67 bilateral investment treaties, and draw up new treaties. The bilateral investment treaty between Indonesia and the Netherlands was among the first to be cancelled, with effect from July 2015 (though a sunset clause in the treaty means it will continue to apply for a period after that).