|Monday, 23 July 2012|
SHARES in Intrepid Mines have slumped nearly 60% in late morning trade after it announced exploration activities at its Tujuh Bukit copper-gold project in Indonesia had been suspended.
Intrepid said that the projects Indonesian joint venture partner, PT Indo Multi Niaga (PT IMN), had halted operations at Tujuh Bukit.
The company understands that PT IMM has asked members of senior management, including all expatriate employees, to leave the site.
Under an alliance agreement between the parties, Intrepid holds an 80% economic interest in the Tujuh Bukit project, with PT IMN holding the remaining 20%.
Intrepid said it was attempting to establish discussions with both new and original PT IMN shareholders in an attempt to resume drilling activities as soon as possible so it can undertake technical studies at the project
The company said it was in compliance with all its obligations under the joint venture arrangements.
“This interruption will impact the company’s timetable for delivery of an updated porphyry resource estimate and further may impact work on the updated oxide resource,” the company said.
The suspension of drilling activities presents a major setback to Intrepid, having already injected $US95 million ($A91.5 million) into its development.
Sister publication MiningNews.net was waiting for additional comment on the situation from Intrepid at the time of publication.
The news comes on the back of recent uncertainty plaguing Intrepid’s future in Indonesia, which was driven in March with news the Indonesian government wanted to impose mine foreign ownership limits.
While Intrepid was still seeking clarity on the laws, it’s understood the government will force
foreign-owned companies which hold mining permits to begin divesting stakes to Indonesian entities in the sixth year after production.
Shares in Intrepid were last trading down 51.4% or A28.5 to 27c but were earlier down by as much as 56.8% (24c).
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