updated 12/22/2004 10:36:14 AM ET 2004-12-22T15:36:14

Newmont Mining Corp. admitted Wednesday that it released mercury into the environment at one of its Indonesian gold mines but denied there was any health impact on humans.

The Denver, Colo.-based company, which has been accused by police of polluting a bay near its gold mine and sickening residents, insisted it had adhered to all “appropriate standards.” It also said that at no time “did any test or monitoring data show that there were health impacts to employees or the community as a result of operations.”

The company’s statement was in response to The New York Times article that accused the company of releasing 33 tons of toxic mercury into the environment. The charges could raise further questions about the company’s environmental record and could complicate its legal fight against authorities in Indonesia.

Police have accused Newmont Minahasa Raya, a subsidiary of Newmont Mining Corp., of dumping heavy metals into Buyat Bay on Sulawesi island, causing residents to develop skin diseases and tumors.

In morning trading Tuesday, Newmont shares slipped 31 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $45.14 on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock has traded in a 52-week range of $34.70 to $50.20.

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