Yudhoyono Ready to Face International Arbitration Over Mine Dispute
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said on Thursday that he and the country were ready to face international arbitration over a multi-billion dollar suit filed by British miner Churchill Mining Plc concerning its operations in East Kalimantan.
“I hope I will win because I don’t want multinational corporations to do whatever they want with their international force, pressuring developing countries such as Indonesia,” Yudhoyono said before opening a cabinet meeting at his office.
Churchill Mining Plc is seeking $2 billion from the Indonesian government for revoking its mining concessions on four of its affiliates in the East Kutai district of East Kalimantan.
Churchill is taking the president, the head of the East Kutai district, the Foreign Ministry, the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry and the National Investment Coordinating Board to court over the case.
Yudhoyono said that the case, which will be arbitrated by the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes, will serve as a lesson for regional administrations in resource rich areas.
“Just imagine, we have hundreds of district [like this]. If we are the one wrong, the implications would be extraordinary,” Yudhoyono said, adding that he believes the district chief was in his right when he revoked Churchill’s concessions.
“We are obligated to defend our honor, truth and justice,” the president said.