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Indonesian group plans US$2B bid for Newmont unit stake

After reportedly liningup US$1 billion in debt funding, an Indonesian consortium plans tooffer about US$2 billion to acquireup to 80% of Newmont Mining Corp.'slocal unit PT Newmont NusaTenggara, Bloomberg News reported March 31, citing "peoplewith knowledge of the matter."

Details of the bid are still being finalized, and an offercould be made as early as next week, although there is no certainty that a firmoffer will be tabled, the sources added.

Together with investment banker Agus Projosasmito — who isleading the consortium — and oil and gas producer PT Medco EnergiInternasional, the group also plans to bid for the 24% Newmont Nusa Tenggarastake held by PT Bumi ResourcesMinerals Tbk.

According to Bloomberg, Medco's President CommissionerMuhammad Lutfi said the company was "in the process of acquiring somemajor asset in Indonesia" but refused to give names, while a Newmontrepresentative confirmed the miner and SumitomoCorp., another controlling shareholder in the Indonesian unit, arein talks with interested parties.

Although, the talks have not reached to final deal terms andnone of the suitors have secured "fully committed financing." ASumitomo spokesman declined to comment.

Newmont Nusa Tenggara's primary asset is the mine, said to be thesecond-biggest copper-gold mine in Indonesia.