BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA--(Marketwired - May 30, 2014) - Intrepid Mines Limited (ASX:IAU)(TSX:IAU) ("Intrepid", or the "Company"), advises that the Chairman of Intrepid will deliver the attached address at the Annual General Meeting of the Company on 30 May 2014.
Today I want to briefly touch on the events that marked the last year, and then focus on what options lie before the Company.
In last year's Annual Report, I remarked on the uncertainty caused by the disputes over the ownership of our Tujuh Bukit project in Indonesia, and our hope that a fair resolution would result. Much of our effort in the past year has been directed towards removing that uncertainty, and forging a new way forward for the Company. Initially we sought to regain our rights to operate Tujuh Bukit, and then as that became increasingly unlikely, we sought a commercial settlement to the dispute, and looked for opportunities to invest our funds in a new venture that could create value for shareholders. In the midst of these challenges we faced the need to renew our leadership.
What has been achieved? First, I am pleased that we have been able to attract Scott Lowe to the role of CEO. Scott brings significant industry experience in both large and small mining companies, and has injected vigour and energy to our small team.
Secondly, we negotiated a comprehensive settlement of the various Indonesian disputes. As I have said before, while your directors are both extremely frustrated that shareholders will not see the value of the discovery, and we are also relieved that the resolution has seen the Company recover the bulk of its investment in Indonesia and enabled us to make a clean exit from all of the disputes in which we have been involved.
Looking forward, the Company now has substantial cash reserves but no operating assets. We have been evaluating investment opportunities in the gold and base metals sector for some time, with the objective of identifying a compelling business case for one of these opportunities that will stand up well against the default case of returning cash to shareholders. Only two weeks ago we held an EGM at which three directors were replaced by a slate of new directors with a clear platform to accelerate the return of cash to shareholders. Your board has taken this vote as a clear message that a substantial proportion of shareholders wish to have cash returned rather than invested in new ventures. One of the mechanisms by which that can be achieved is the subject of a shareholder resolution today. If that resolution is passed, we will proceed to winding up the company. If the resolution is not passed, your directors intend to resubmit it to shareholders at the earliest practical opportunity, along with an alternative option to return cash via a share buyback. Should an attractive investment opportunity become available during this period, then it would be put to shareholders to consider alongside a share buy-back or capital return.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank our loyal shareholders for their patience and support during the extremely trying times that we have faced together throughout these past two years.
ABN: 11 060 156 452