Newmont Mining, the world’s No. 2 gold producer, has reduced its 2012 target production figures for its Indonesian mine to 71,000 ounces of gold from 114,000 ounces.
Annual copper output from the Batu Hijau mine in Sumbawa is now expected to be 170.6 million pounds, from an earlier forecast of 192 million, spokesman Rubi Purnomo told Reuters.
The lower forecasts come as Newmont processes lower grade ore from stockpiles as it prepares for a new phase of mining in a vast open pit in Sumbawa. Production in the first six months of this year has been about 90 million pounds of copper and 40,000 ounces of gold, said Ian McGaffin, the mine’s general manager.
Newmont has already flagged that its 2012 attributable Indonesian output is expected to be significantly lower, a factor that led the Colorado-based firm to post a 30-percent drop in second quarter profits.
The Finance Ministry is seeking approval from lawmakers for the purchase of a stake in gold and copper miner Newmont Nusa Tenggara. A court ruling in August forced the government to go through the House of Representatives for the purchase, and President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has told his officials that he expects them to secure lawmaker approval.
NNT, the local arm of Newmont Mining, is required under a 1986 working contract to divest its majority ownership to Indonesian entities by 2010.
It currently has 7 percent of shares left to divest, in order to reduce its ownership to 49 percent. But the stake, priced at $246.8 million, is now being fought over by the central government and the regional governments of West Nusa Tenggara and West Sumbawa.