Ladies and Gentlemen,
Before I make any comment on the Company and its situation, I would like to record our sincere thanks to Colin Jackson, now our Deputy Chair, who was Chairman of this company for over 9 years. Having been in this role for less than 9 months, I must say I now know why his hair has gone prematurely white!
It goes without saying that the past year has been very challenging for Intrepid and a great disappointment to its shareholders. This time last year, our greatest concern was how long it would take our partners to convert PTIMN to a company capable of having foreign shareholders, and to issue to Intrepid the shares that they had legally committed to issue.
As we subsequently discovered, shortly after our last AGM our partners, in contravention of our Alliance Agreement, issued new shares in IMN to other parties. These new shareholders then subsequently transferred the mining lease for the Tujuh Bukit project out of IMN, and into another company called PT BSI. As a result, we have had to take a range of actions to reassert our legal entitlement to our original 80% beneficial interest in Tujuh Bukit.
The circumstances that then transpired were the subject of letters I sent to shareholders this year, and have been canvassed extensively in the media, both in Australia and Indonesia, so I do not intend to revisit them in detail this afternoon. Those of you who would like a blow by blow description should visit our website, where the full story is available. However, there are three points that I would like to reinforce.
The first point is that despite some of the more outlandish claims that have been made, the Board and I are absolutely certain that the Company has consistently acted in good faith, has fully complied with the terms of its agreements, and has acted in compliance with the relevant laws. In particular, the Company rejects as baseless the claims made by former associate Paul Willis in the Jakarta court. These claims will be defended vigorously.
The second point I would make is that both the Board and management are totally focused on restoring value to shareholders. We are pursuing our legal options in several jurisdictions, and will continue to use every lever available to us to deliver value, including the potential for a commercial settlement.
Let me assure you in no uncertain terms that we will objectively consider all possible pathways to a solution and nothing is off the table.
In terms of the detail of either our commercial strategy, the options we are working on and the legal strategy we are implementing, I would like to repeat today what I have said publicly and in correspondence with our shareholders on several occasions.
That is that we will not be making detailed disclosure about our strategy unless and until we have something definitive to report to shareholders.
It is simply not appropriate to make piecemeal disclosure, particularly given that premature disclosure about aspects of our strategy could seriously jeopardise the prospects of a successful resolution.
The third and final point I want to make is that we continue to have the assistance of some of the best advisers available to help us resolve this dispute. In Australia we have Macquarie Bank providing commercial advice, and Ashurst providing legal advice, while in Indonesia, in addition to a range of top quality legal firms, we continue to benefit from the assistance of Mr Surya Paloh, a much-respected Indonesian businessman and political activist. While quality advice is of course no guarantee of a successful outcome, you can be confident that every effort is being made on your behalf.
I should not conclude without touching on the recent action by Quantum Pacific, the company that is representing four shareholders that have requisitioned a meeting to replace five of your current directors. Quantum has raised a number of arguments as to why they could do a better job in resolving this dispute than the current board. Of course, as you would expect, we have a different view, and we will spell out why we reject their arguments in the Notice of Meeting that will be sent out to you shortly.
We understand that there will be shareholders who have strong views on how these issues can best be resolved, and we continue to seek the views of our major shareholders on a regular basis. Accordingly, we consider it surprising and regrettable that Quantum which is a relatively recent shareholder, has taken this path before discussing with the Company its views on how shareholder value can best be enhanced.
Finally, the Board and management are grateful for the continued support of our major institutional shareholders, in what has been an extraordinarily challenging period. We acknowledge that their continued support is critical during a period when we are seeking a commercial settlement in the interests of all shareholders.
Ian McMaster AM, Chairman
|Ian McMaster (Chairman)|
|Colin G. Jackson (Deputy Chairman)|
|Brad A. Gordon (Managing Director)|
|Laurence W. Curtis (Non-executive Director)|
|Robert J. McDonald (Non-executive Director)|
|Alan Roberts (Non-executive Director)|
|Adrianto Machribie (Non-executive Director)|
|Garry Gill (Company Secretary)|
|Stock Exchange Listing|
|ASX and TSX symbol: IAU|
|Taurus Funds Management 8.5%|
|Acorn Capital 8.1%|
|Van Eck Associates 7.0%|
|Surya Paloh 5.0%|
|7,768,609 unlisted options|
|2,574,737 unlisted share rights|
|51,208,032 unlisted restricted|
|Matters related to shares held,|
|change of address and tax file|
|numbers should be directed to:|
|Computershare Investor Services|
|GPO Box 2975, Melbourne, Victoria|
|+61 3 9415 4000|
|Intrepid Mines Limited Chairman's Address - 2013 AGM|
ABN 11 060 156 452