Baru Gold Corp. (“Baru” or the “Company”) and subsidiary PT Tambang Mas Sangihe (“TMS”) are pleased to update shareholders on positive changes related to our project on Sangihe Island (“Sangihe”).
Direct physical confrontation and indirect actions by both illegal miners and their supporters have prevented TMS from operating on Sangihe. In October 2022, National Police Chief Listyo Sigit Prabowo appointed Setyo Budiyanto as Kapolda (Police Chief) of the North Sulawesi Provincial Police. Kapolda Setyo previously served as Director at the Corruption Eradication Commission of Indonesia. Kapolda Setyo has announced his crime reduction agenda and is prioritizing the removal of all illegal mining operations in North Sulawesi, which includes the island of Sangihe.
Before Kapolda Setyo’s appointment, the number of illegal miners on Sangihe were steadily increasing. The illegal miners eventually reached over 500 individuals using 13 heavy machine excavators across two different mine sites totalling approximately 20 hectares. These industrial-scale operations have no permits nor legal recognition. The activities of the illegal miners are plainly visible and includes the transportation of heavy equipment on public roads. The illegal miners are primarily non-resident, use the most harmful mining techniques, undertake no environmental remediation, contribute no tax revenue nor local employment.
The illegal miners have a history of physical violence and intimidation. Recently, two reporters from the national magazine Gatra wrote about their encounter with the illegal miners on Sangihe. While documenting the work sites, the reporters were surrounded, intimidated and confined. After a lengthy confrontation, the reporters were released only after they destroyed photograph evidence of the illegal mining operations. The staff of TMS have also been threatened and violently attacked. The use and threats of violence is criminal and appropriate charges have been filed, and legal action is underway. The Company is thankful the reporters were eventually released, and our staff have made a full physical recovery.
The clearly criminal actions of these illegal miners are unacceptable and no longer tolerated. Kapolda Setyo recently announced operations across North Sulawesi to expel and dismantle the supply chain on which the illegal miners depend. Kapolda Setyo has already laid charges against individuals who were purchasers of illegally mined gold in North Sulawesi.
Until the recent police activity, there have been no serious effort to block, interfere or stop the operations of illegal mines. The Company has reported the relatively few remaining illegal miners on Sangihe and has received assurances their removal is imminent. The Company looks forward to resuming both drilling and production-related operations.
Baru Gold CEO, Terry Filbert, commented, “I would like to personally welcome and thank Kapolda Setyo Budiyanto for protecting the residents on Sangihe Island. Kapolda Setyo’s actions against illegal miners, their supporters, supply chain and purchasers will stop the unchecked environmental destruction, economic plunder and culture of violence and intimidation that the 250,000 residents on Sangihe have been forced to endure. For the first time, TMS is beginning to receive the necessary support and security from the North Sulawesi Provincial Police to protect our operational activities, employees and suppliers.I am grateful for the prioritization of TMS legal operations over illegal ones. TMS permits and licences are valid, we are compliant with the law in all respects and committed to sustainable development practices that balances the economic needs of Indonesia with environmental protection.”
The Company will continue to ensure the laws of Indonesia and the obligations within our Contract of Work are upheld.
ABOUT SANGIHE GOLD PROJECT
The Sangihe Gold Project (“Sangihe”) is located on the Indonesian island of Sangihe, off the northern coast of Sulawesi. Sangihe 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" (May 30, 2017). Readers are cautioned that mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.
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.
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 30 years upon commencement of the production phase of the project.
Baru has met all the requirements of the Indonesian government and has been granted its environmental permit. The Company has received approval for the upgrade of its licence to advance the Sangihe project to construction and production.
ABOUT BARU GOLD CORP.
Baru Gold Corporation is a dynamic junior gold developer with NI 43-101 gold resources in Indonesia, one of the top ten gold producing countries in the world. Based in Indonesia and North America, Baru’s team boasts extensive experience in starting and operating small-scale gold assets.
Frank Rocca, BAppSc.(Geology), MAusIMM, MAIG, CPI-KCMI, 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 CORP
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.