Wetar Project - Photo by Finders Resources

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – Eastern Field Developments Ltd, a special-purpose vehicle of Procap Partners Limited, PT Saratoga Investama Sedaya Tbk (IDX:SRTG) and PT Merdeka Copper Gold Tbk (IDX:MDKA) has announced its intention to take over the Indonesian assets of Australian copper miner Finders Resources Ltd’s (ASX: FND), for an estimated value of US$177 million.

Finders already runs Wetar copper and Ojolali gold-silver projects in Indonesia; Saratoga and Provident are existing stakeholders in Finders with a combined 19.8 percent stake.

Finders shareholders expects to receive AUS$0.23 in cash for every share under the offer proposed by Eastern Field Developments.

Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) was granted a trading halt at 11am on Oct.6, with 152,000 shares changing hands before entering pre-open. The halt will remain in place until the opening of trade on Tuesday (10/10), or earlier if an announcement is made to the market.

The Ojolali project is located in Lampung Province, near the southern tip of Sumatra, as part of the highly-productive Sumatran Gold Belt, which includes Martarbe (+3.7 moz), Lebong Donok (1.5 moz), Lebong Tandai (1.3 moz), Pongkor (3 moz) and Way Linggo deposits (0.25 moz).

Wetar Copper Project is located far away, on the north-central coast of Wetar Island, of the Maluku Barat Daya Regency, Maluku Province.

Finders Resources is a mining company listed on the Australia Stock Exchange, with two key projects in Indonesia. The company holds a 95 percent stake in Wetar Copper in Maluku Province; it is engaged in a high-quality copper mine concession with JORC-compliant resources of 200,000 tons of copper (as of 2013).

The Wetar project continues to attract considerable interest from external parties, due to its high-grade ores, low operating costs, and significant exploration potential.

The company has completed its revised bankable feasibility study, and is expected to start production soon. Saratoga invested in Finders Resources starting in January 2013, and held 6.85 percent effective ownership in the company as of year-end 2014.

Meanwhile, as an active investment company, Saratoga consistently initiates new investments up to 2016, to strengthen its three investment pillars: natural resources, infrastructure and consumer goods.

Following a thorough analysis and careful consideration, in 2016 Saratoga acquired 5.63 percent of the shares of PT MGM Bosco Logistik, one of the leading cold-chain logistics companies in Indonesia.

Saratoga also invested in PT Famon Awal Bros Sedaya – a corporate group that currently owns and manages four of Indonesia’s prominent hospitals under the RSAB Group brand.

2016 was also a good year for Saratoga when it comes to divestment. During the first quarter the company divested from PT Pulau Seroja Jaya, a shipping company that provides marine chartering services with tugboats and barges first invested in back in 2008, for Rp98 billion.

In the fourth quarter of 2016, Saratoga divested a portion of the palm plantation assets of PT Provident Agro Tbk (IDX: PALM), at a premium market price per hectare. Lastly, in the first quarter of 2017, the private equity firm managed to divest from PT Lintas Marga Sedaya, a long term toll-road construction investment project first purchased in 2006.

Meanwhile, to support national energy resources and demand, Saratoga, acting through its investee company, PT Medco Power, starting from 18 March 2017 commenced commercial operations of the first unit of the Sarulla Geothermal Power Plant, with a capacity of 110 MW.

The Sarulla project is one of the largest geothermal power plants in the world, with up to 330 MW total capacity in one single contract, and consists of three phases.

The Second and Third phases are scheduled to start commercial operations in 2017 and 2018. Power generated from Sarulla Geothermal Power Plant is to be sold to PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) over a period of 30 years.

It is owned and will be operated by Sarulla Operations Ltd, a consortium of Medco Power (27.5 percent), US-based Ormat Technologies (12.75 percent), Japan-based Itochu Corporation (25 percent) and Kyushu Electric (25 percent). 

Writing by Linda Silaen, Email: linda.silaen@theinsiderstories.com