The case of Newmont Mining vs Indonesia is a powerful example of how investment agreements, particularly Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs), are used by companies to get exemptions from government regulations and legislation, undermining democracy and development. It also illustrates the long-term dangers of governments signing investment agreements, which continue to be enforced even when subsequent governments try to re-establish sovereign control over investment in their countries. In July 2014, Newmont Mining Corporation brought a case against Indonesia using the Indonesia-Netherlands BIT at the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).
In making the legal claim, the mining giant argued that the Indonesian Government’s plans to implement a ban on unprocessed mineral exports would violate the investment agreement between Indonesia and the Netherlands. The case at ICSID was presented four months after Indonesia announced it would not renew its Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) with the Netherlands when it expires in July 2015. After one month, Newmont withdrew its case against Indonesia but only after it had reached an agreement with the Indonesian government, giving the mining company special exemptions from the new mining law.
last update: April 2021