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Newmont seeks injunction for return of Indonesian copper mine workers - CEO

MELBOURNE, Aug 7 (Reuters) - Newmont Mining Corp said on Thursday it is applying for an injunction to get workers back to its Batu Hijau mine as it fights a controversial tax on copper exports that led the company to halt shipments from Indonesia this year.

The top U.S. gold miner stopped exporting copper concentrate from the mine on the Indonesian island of Sumbawa in January after the government introduced an escalating tax on metal concentrates that climbed to 60 percent by 2017 in a push to force miners to build smelters in the Southeast Asian country.

Newmont CEO Gary Goldberg said the company would "seek interim injunctive relief to get our people back to work".

"We estimate it could take several months" to gain that relief and it would take "at least several weeks to ramp back up to full production if that relief is granted", Goldberg said in a speech at an industry function in Melbourne.

(Reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)