Indonesia’s Antam Seeks to Open Gold Mine in Burma

By Jakarta Globe 27 March 2013

JAKARTA — Indonesia’s state-controlled gold and nickel miner Aneka Tambang on Tuesday said it was seeking to mine for gold in Burma this year as soon as it secures a permit from the Burmese authorities.

The president director of the company better known as Antam, Alwinsyah Lubis, said the miner was among Indonesian state-run companies seeking to expand their businesses in Burma.

“It’s true, we’re now conducting a survey in the region we’ll explore. There’s already a concession for gold mine, but we just started applying for the permit. We’re working on obtaining [the permit] this year,” Alwinsyah said in Jakarta.

He added that Antam was planning to partner with a local company to operate the Burmese mine, although it was yet to secure any deal with a potential partner.

“We’re still talking with the government,” Alwinsyah told Indonesian news portal “They said that was a good area, but it may be not. We still have to do the exploration.”

Alwinsyah said that the exploration could take up to five years, adding that Antam had already allotted some of its spending this year on related activities.  He refused to reveal any figures.

The company said its net income rose 55 percent to Rp 2.99 trillion (US $308 million) last year. Its revenue was relatively flat with only 1 percent growth this year to Rp 10.45 trillion ($933 million).

Antam aims to produce a total of 3,316 kg of gold this year, and sell 7,601 kg of gold.

Gold prices fell for a third day on Tuesday, poised for the worst run in three weeks, as Cyprus’s bailout damped haven demand even amid concern that its bank-restructuring plan may be used as a template for other European nations.

Gold for immediate delivery lost as much as 0.3 percent to $1,600.14 an ounce and was at $1,602.53 at 3 p.m. in Singapore.

Prices touched $1,589.87 on Monday, the lowest since March 15, as the rescue ensured Cyprus averted default. The last time gold fell for at least three days was the period to March 4.