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NEWS UPDATES 2 August 2010

U.S. firm produces more Indo copper, gold

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U.S. mining giant Newmont Mining Corporation said its Batu Hijau mine’s gold and copper production increased by 87.15 percent and 42.56 percent, respectively, in the first half of 2010 compared to the same period last year.

The Batu Hijau mine is located in Sumbawa Island, West Nusa Tenggar and is operated by PT Newmont Nusa Tenggara (NNT) in which Newmont holds 31.5 percent of total shares.

The increase is due to the higher mineral ore grade at the mine’s current operation area, Newmont said in a statement published last week.

The gold production increased to 335,000 ounces in the period ending June 30, 2010 from 179,000 ounces in the same period in 2009. As for the copper, the production increased to 278 million pounds from 195 million pounds.

The Batu Hijau mineral deposits were founded in 1990 and the mine started operation in 2000. As of the end of 2009, the Batu Hijau mine’s estimate reserves were 11.47 billion pounds of copper, 11.57 million ounces of gold and 40.97 million ounces of silver.

In 2010, the Batu Hijau was expected to produce 777,000 ounces of gold and 573 million pounds of copper. With the reported first semester’s production results, the NNT has produced gold and copper as much as 43.11 percent and 48.52 percent, respectively, of the full year production target.

Newmont Indonesia Limited, Newmont’s unit for Indonesia operation, owns 31.5 percent of NNT’s shares. The remaining shares are owned by the Sumitomos unit. Nusa Tenggara Mining Corporation (24.5 percent); domestic mining firm PT Pukuafu Indah (20 percent); and a joint venture formed by the regional governments, PT Multi Daerah Bersaing (24 percent).

As the total production increased in the first half, Newmont’s equity gold and copper production from the Batu Hijau also increased in the period.

The equity production is the produced amount owned by Newmont in the joint venture. With 31.5 percent stake in the NNT, Newmont reported that its equity gold and copper production during the first semester of 2010 were 170,000 ounces and 141 million pounds, respectively. The equity gold and copper production in the same period last year were 81,000 ounces and 88 million, respectively.

“The company continues to expect a 2010 equity gold and copper production at Batu Hijau of between 365,000 and 400,000 ounces, and between 265 and 290 million pounds, respectively,” Newmont said.

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