INTREPID SETTLES DISPUTE OVER INDONESIAN MINE
Written on the 19 February 2014
INTREPID Mines (IAU) has settled its dispute over the Tujuh Bukit copper and gold project in Indonesia.
The company will receive $90 million in cash after entering a binding agreement brokered by Provident Capital and Saratoga Capital, dependent on Intrepid shareholder approval at a general meeting to be held in early April.
A deed of settlement has been signed by the parties involved in the ownership dispute, including Intrepid’s former Indonesian partners, PT Indo Multi Niaga (IMN), Maya Ambarsari (Maya), Reza Nazaruddin (Reza) and Paul Willis.
Intrepid Mines chairman Ian McMaster says he is pleased to reach a settlement which marks an end to a difficult period for the company and its shareholders.
“In addition to the protracted dispute over ownership rights in the project, which we have now resolved, the value of our interest in the project has declined as a consequence of lower metal prices and regulatory changes which have decreased both our ultimate potential ownership and the overall returns available to the project,” he says.
“Legal challenges are time consuming, costly and rarely result in harmonious relationships going forward.
“The board therefore unanimously resolved it was in the best interests of our shareholders to settle the disputes now and recover a substantial portion of the funds previously invested.
“While this is a disappointing conclusion to our efforts on the project, I am confident that our shareholders will see the benefit of eliminating the current risks we face in Indonesia and recovering the US$80 million for redeployment elsewhere.”
Under the deal, Emperor Mines, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Intrepid, will exchange a US$70 million promissory note issued by IMN for a bond convertible into a 15 per cent pre-IPO shareholding in PT Merdeka Serasi Jaya (MSJ), the current holding company for the companies holding the Tujuh Bukit mining tenements (convertible bond).
Emperor has also been granted the right to pay US$37.5 million to acquire 7.5% of the shares in MSJ at the time of the proposed IPO (option).
Kendall Court Resource Investments (KCR), a company associated with the Singapore-based funds manager Kendall Court has agreed to buy the convertible bond and option from Intrepid for $90 million.
Intrepid has recommended to shareholders to accept the deal in order to put an end to lengthy litigation proceedings and to recover a significant portion of funds already invested.
New regulations in Indonesia also mean the company is limited to a maximum of 49 per cent interest in the Indonesian company holding the project licenses and further regulations limiting the export of raw and semi-processed minerals and new taxes on such products.
Intrepid is trading down 1.72 per cent at $0.285 per unit this morning.