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Churchill in talks with Indonesian government

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World Coal,

Churchill Mining and the Indonesian government are holding talks to resolve their long-running dispute over the licensing of an East Kalimantan coal project, Reuters has reported, quoting a source familiar with the talks.

The dispute revolves around ownership of a mine site in Easy Kutai that is estimated to contain 2.73 billion t of coal reserves. In 2012, Churchill’s mining licence for the reserve was revoked by the Indonesian government, which accused the company of fraud.

Since then, the mining company has spent more than US$10 million on legal challenges to the government actions, including taking the government to international arbitration.

A verdict on the arbitration case was expected in 2016 but Churchill recently issued a statement saying that the Indonesian government was no longer accusing it of fraud.

According to a company press release, the government “no longer alleges that the company participated in a scheme to defraud it and has accepted the Ridlatama Group, Churchill’s former business partners, were the sole perpetrators of the alleged fraud”.

"We are pleased that Indonesia is no longer alleging that Churchill participated in any scheme to defraud the state,” said David Quinlivan, Churchill’s Chairman, in response. “The result of the production of documents by Indonesia reinforces our view that there is no substance to the fraud and forgery allegations made by the Republic of Indonesia."

Last year, Churchill claimed damages of US$1.35 billion arising from the revocation of its East Kutai mining licence.

Written by . Sources: Reuters; ProactiveInvestors

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