Intrepid Mines says a suspension of operations at the copper-gold-silver Tujuh Bukit project in East Java will delay the completion of an updated porphyry resource estimate due for announcement at the end of August. Mining operations were suspended by Intrepid’s Indonesian joint venture partner PT Indo Multi Niaga on July 19, with all staff asked to vacate the site.
Intrepid says it was in compliance with its obligations under the $95 million JV agreement, which has been solely funded by the company to date.
The 11,621 hectare Tujuh Bukit site takes in two mining licences on the island of Java. The major focus for exploration is the Tumpangpitu prospect, in the southeast portion of the project area. There are five zones of known near-surface gold-silver oxide mineralization and deeper sulphide copper-gold mineralization within Tumpangpitu.
Intrepid has announced results from recent drilling at the site, with best intersections including 227 metres @ 1.24% copper and 1.54 grams/tonne gold and 222 metres @ 0.37% copper and 0.33 grams/tonne gold.
The company’s chief executive officer Brad Gordon says, “We remain extremely active in advancing this world-class project and we have been rewarded by very positive results on several fronts. These latest drill results on the main Tumpangpitu porphyry have enabled us to define a new high grade zone on the eastern edges of the target area. However, the depth potential of this resource is still to be thoroughly tested.
“Meanwhile, we are advancing the smaller, but not insignificant, oxide project as quickly as we can, with a view based on peer company valuations, that this project alone justifies our current share market capitalization,” he said.
The suspension of operations may impact on work scheduled to further define the gold-silver oxide resource. Intrepid plans to advance it towards production as an open pit, heap leach mine, as soon as possible, subject primarily to permitting.
Intrepid is attempting to establish discussions with both the new and original PT IMN shareholders regarding arrangements which would allow the resumption of drilling at the earliest opportunity.
Intrepid’s immediate objective is completion of technical studies which will demonstrate the financial viability to develop a world-class mine for the benefit of shareholders and stakeholders - community, and local, provincial and central government, alike.