Baru Gold Corp (“Baru” and its subsidiary PT. Tambang Mas Sangihe (“PT.TMS”) or the “Company”) wishes to update stakeholders and investors on recent rumours and negative media attention focused against Baru and its upcoming gold production project on Sangihe Island in North Sulawesi, Indonesia.
In recent days, a Non-Government Organization (“NGO”) has posed several serious allegations against Baru Gold through prominent media sources including CNN, BBC, and CNBC. These publications have failed to do their due diligence. The Company has not received any invitations or opportunity from these publications to set the record straight and defend itself from the false accusations alleged against the Company. These allegations include polluting the environment, underpaying locals for their land, illegally pushing the Sangihe mining project ahead, and endangering the habitat of a certain breed of flycatcher bird. Lastly, this NGO has blamed the Company for the unfortunate passing of a local politician, who recently opposed the Sangihe project. The Company wishes to clarify that this person’s untimely passing was due to natural causes and condemns these accusations. Baru’s staff reached out to the family on the day of his passing, and the Company wishes to again offer its sincere condolences to Pak Helmud Hotong’s family, friends, and the community, he will be missed by all on the Island.
The Company denies these unfounded accusations in the strongest possible terms and can confirm all of allegations that have been made are false and have no basis in fact. The Company has conducted itself, and will continue to conduct itself, in accordance with all laws, rules, and regulations. Will do so with the utmost transparency, and with respect for the locals and for the environment. The Company appreciates the ongoing support it receives from the federal government and the Mining Minster of Indonesia.
To be clear, and to highlight the misrepresentations being made, the Sangihe project has not yet started construction, and therefore it is impossible for the Company to have caused any environmental damage. It should be noted and to be clear, illegal operations are currently rampant on the island, and it is these illegal miners who have been heavily polluting the environment, including dumping their mine tailings into the ocean on the reefs, destroying the mangroves, and polluting the river and ocean with mercury. These illegal miners tend to not be residents of Sangihe Island. Further, they have a history of intimidating the members of the Sangihe community, they do not contribute to the local economy, they pay lower than industry wages, and do not pay federal royalties or taxes. These illegal miners have a vested interest in keeping their operations going and continue to employ tactics to protect their own interests at the cost of the environment and the well-being of local residents.
In contrast, Baru Gold is a law-abiding Canadian company operating in Indonesia with an extensive team on the ground. Not only is the Company required to meet certain obligations to maintain its listing as a publicly traded company, it strives to implement Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) policies that make positive contributions to the health, well-being, and quality of life of Sangihe’s residents, and to protect the environment. The Company will continue to comply with, and respect, its obligations to meet the high standards required of an international entity operating in Indonesia.
While the federal government has principally been supporting larger foreign companies to restart new projects, Baru has been diligently engaging with locals, providing job opportunities, and beneficial structures in preparation of Sangihe’s operations. The Company is not aware of any local residents opposed to the project. In fact, the Company enjoys remarkably strong support from both the Islanders of Sangihe, who are hoping for a better and safer economic environment, and the local government that is actively supporting their aspirations.
Baru Gold’s AMDAL environmental study outlined in detail a meticulous strategy to mitigate disturbances to the rare flora and fauna of the island. Additionally, the Contract of Work (CoW), dead rent tax, and recently granted Operating License (February 2021) payments have all been made. As documented in a BBC interview with the Mining Minister of Indonesia, the Company has the full support of the Federal government.
To date, the Company has hired over 20 principally local employees and contractors, and expects to provide over 200 high quality jobs also principally from the local community. Hiring and additional opportunities engage with local businesses continues to be delayed due to the tactics of the illegal miners.
Terry Filbert, President, CEO and Director of Baru Gold, commented, “These false and misleading allegations are the desperate attempts of incumbent and related parties (NGO) who have been known to use intimidation and distractions to delay lawful projects such as the Sangihe project. Baru Gold has the full support of the federal, provincial, and local governments, and the local residents, who can anticipate fair wages and over 200 employment opportunities as the Sangihe operation ramps up. The land size of 100 hectares approved for production is more than enough for initial start-up. I welcome the NGO or any major media outlet that runs stories about our operation to contact me directly for a formal discussion. We have and will continue to do everything by the book to ensure a safe and successful partnership with the Indonesian government and the people of Sangihe.”
ABOUT SANGIHE GOLD PROJECT
The Sangihe gold-silver project is located on the island of Sangihe off the northern coast of Sulawesi and has an existing National Instrument 43-101 inferred mineral resource of 114,700 indicated and 105,000 inferred ounces of gold as reported in the Company's "Independent Technical Report on the Mineral Resource Estimates of the Binebase and Bawone Deposits, Sangihe Project, North Sulawesi, Indonesia" dated May 30, 2017. Only 10% of the gold bearing area has been explored. Readers are cautioned that mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.
The Company's 70-percent interest in the Sangihe-mineral-tenement contract of work ("CoW") is held through PT. Tambang Mas Sangihe (TMS). The remaining 30-percent interest in TMS is held by three Indonesian corporations. The term of the Sangihe CoW agreement is for 30 years upon commencement of the production phase of the project.
The Company intends to proceed to production without the benefit of first establishing mineral reserves supported by a feasibility study. The Company cautions readers that the any production decision made by the Company will not be based on a NI 43-101 feasibility study of mineral reserves that demonstrates economic and technical viability and as such, there may be involved increased uncertainty and various technological and economic risks such as the interpretation of drill results; the geology, grade and continuity of mineral deposits; the possibility that future exploration, development or mining results will not be consistent with our expectations; commodity and currency price fluctuation; failure to obtain adequate financing; regulatory, recovery rates, refinery costs, and other relevant conversion factors, permitting and licensing risks; general market and mining exploration risks and production and economic risks related to design and engineering, manufacturing, technological processes and test procedures and the risk that the project's output will not be salable at a price that will cover the project's operating and maintenance costs.
ABOUT BARU GOLD CORPORATION
Baru Gold Corporation (formerly East Asia Minerals) is positioning itself to become Indonesia’s new gold producer. We are a dynamic junior gold developer with NI43-101 gold resources in Indonesia, one of the top ten gold producer countries in the world. In 2020, Baru Gold received approval on the environmental permit and became compliant on all government requirements for the Sangihe Gold Project. Baru has received the approval for the upgrade of its licence to advance the project to construction and production in 2021.
Currently, Baru is awaiting final land acquisition to conclude so construction of the heap leach can proceed with production expected to commence in 2021.
Our team of mining and finance professionals are based both in North America and locally in Indonesia and boast extensive experience in starting and operating small-scale gold and coal assets. With sufficient funds and strong retail and institutional shareholders support, Baru Gold is well positioned to take advantage of the increased interest in gold and precious metals with both exploration upsides and operation cashflow in 2021.
Frank Rocca, BAppSc.(Geology), MAusIMM, MAIG, Chief Geologist of Baru Gold Corp. is the Qualified Person as defined under NI 43-101 who has reviewed and approves the content of this release.
BARU GOLD CORPORATION
Per: “Terry Filbert”
Terry Filbert, Director
President & CEO
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Certain statements in this News Release, which are not historical in nature, constitute “forward looking statements” within the meaning of that phrase under applicable Canadian securities law. These statements include, but are not limited to, statements or information concerning future work programs, results and timing of any work programs, the Company’s performance or events as of the date hereof. These statements reflect management’s current assumptions and expectations and by their nature are subject to certain underlying assumptions, known and unknown risks and uncertainties and other factors which may cause actual results, performance or events to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward looking statements. Those risks include the interpretation of drill results; the geology, grade and continuity of mineral deposits; the possibility that future exploration, development or mining results will not be consistent with our expectations; commodity and currency price fluctuation; failure to obtain adequate financing; regulatory, recovery rates, refinery costs, and other relevant conversion factors, permitting and licensing risks; general market and mining exploration risks and production and economic risks related to design and engineering, manufacturing, technological processes and test procedures and the risk that the project’s output will not be salable at a price that will cover the project’s operating and maintenance costs. Forward-looking statements should not be construed as investment advice. Readers should perform a detailed, independent investigation and analysis of the Company and are encouraged to seek independent professional advice before making any investment decision. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on any forward-looking statement. Except as required by applicable securities laws, the Company disclaims any obligation to update or revise any forward looking statements to reflect events or changes in circumstances that occur after the date hereof.