The Board of West Wits Mining remains optimistic of a successful outcome in its bid to obtain all clear and clean certificates for the IUP and forestry permits pertaining to the Derewo River Alluvial Gold Project in Papua Province, Indonesia.

PT Tobacom Del Mandiri (TDM), which is part of the PT Toba Sejahtra group, is undertaking this process as part of an agreement with West Wits. Toba has indicated that it is continuing in the process of delivering the all clear and clean certificates.

Toba has recently reported on several meetings with high level officials in which the path to achieving clean and clean IUP certification was formulated and agreed.

Under Toba’s agreement with West Wits, Toba will receive a 30% equity interest in PT Madinah Quarataa’in (MQ), the West Wits subsidiary which holds the licences for the Derewo project on granting of clear and clean certificates and forestry permits for the project as well as securing safe access to the project site.

West Wits entered this business alliance agreement with PT TBM on October 12, 2016. As part of the agreement Toba appointed one director to the Board of PT MQ as well as one commissioner.

Once the clean and clean certificates have been received by PT MQ, West Wits will refurbish heavy equipment that was damaged and re-establish its initial alluvial circuit. The equipment was damaged during incidents at the project site in early 2016 with illegal miners also creating security concerns for the company.

West Wits continues to maintain the mess area and equipment on a care and maintenance basis to enable a restart of operations to be expedited once those objectives are achieved.

Exploration plans continue to be held in abeyance pending commissioning of the alluvial circuit. It is envisaged that an initial sampling program would be implemented once exploration resumes. This would have an aim of confirming the anomalism established through Freeport datasets in the Wopogi area and to map the basic geological units and alteration types encountered.

CORRECTION: An article published on The ASIA Miner’s website in mid-January incorrectly stated that trial mining had started at Derewo River. The article should have stated that West Wits is focusing on trial mining at the project. This process will depend on the outcome of Toba’s work.