Intrepid Mines advises that the State Administrative Tribunal in Surabaya, East Java, has handed down judgment in the lawsuit brought by the company, to set aside the transfer of the Tujuh Bukit mining leases (IUP Eksplorasi and IUP Operasi Produksi) from PT IMN to PT Bumi Suksesindo.
Intrepid became aware in December 2012 that the Tujuh Bukit IUPs, or mining leases, had been transferred by the company's Indonesian joint venture partner PT IMN to PT Bumi SuksesIndo (BSI), which was initially a subsidiary of PT IMN. Since the date of transfer of the IUPs, the shareholding in BSI had changed such that PT IMN was no longer a shareholder in that company.
Indonesian legislation provides that IUPs are not transferable, with an exception for transfers to majority-held subsidiaries. Intrepid therefore instituted proceedings in the State Administrative Tribunal in Surabaya, seeking that the decisions of the Bupati of Banyuwangi (the local government chief executive) to approve the transfer of the IUPs and the subsequent changes in shareholding in BSI, be set aside.
On September 12, 2013, judgment was handed down in the matter and whilst the Tribunal was split in its decision, two judges ruled against the company on a procedural point of lack of legal standing. They opined that the company had no standing to challenge the actions of the Bupati of Banyuwangi in circumstances where it was not yet a shareholder in PT IMN. They did not consider the merits of the case.
The third judge, in his dissenting verdict, accepted the company’s standing to institute proceedings and went on to examine the merits of the matter, concluding that the Bupati of Banyuwangi had acted contrary to Indonesian law in approving the transfer of the IUPs and subsequent corporate reorganization of BSI.
Intrepid’s executive chairman Ian McMaster noted: “We believe that the findings of the dissenting judge, Judge Tri Cahya Indra Permana, provide a solid foundation for an appeal to the State Administrative Appeals Court of Surabaya, which we shall be pursuing.”
The decision of the Tribunal is not final and binding on the parties until further appeals have been exhausted. The company has 14 within which to lodge an appeal, which it intends to do.
Separately, the company confirms that it has, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Emperor Mines, filed an Arbitration Notice with the Singapore International Arbitration Centre, commencing arbitration proceedings against PT IMN and the other joint venture parties in respect of breaches of the various joint venture agreements in place between them and the company.