The National, Tuesday 10th July, 2012
ALDRIDGE Minerals Inc announced at the weekend that it plans to exit Papua New Guinea following receipt of a formal notice from the registrar of tenements in PNG that the company’s licence renewal application for its non-core Kili Teke property was denied.
“Since Aldridge began to implement a change in management in the fall of 2011, our focus has been to advance our Yenipazar project in Turkey given the significant size of its mineral deposit, access to skilled labour and modern infrastructure, and support from local stakeholders,” Mario Caron, president and chief executive of Aldridge, said.
“The rejection of our renewal application supports current management’s position that PNG is too volatile and that our efforts, as evidenced by recent progress, will deliver greater rewards if concentrated in Turkey.”
Aldridge has had a limited presence in PNG since announcing the results of its first drill campaign at Kili Teke, which was completed in 2011 and affected by technical problems and poor drilling conditions.
As announced on Feb 24, Aldridge has been actively seeking partners or transactions that would allow the company to realise the maximum value from its investments in Kili Teke.
Given the uncertain political climate in PNG and the recent volatility of the capital markets, no discussions with potential partners progressed beyond the preliminary stage.
Aldridge submitted its licence renewal application in January last year as required by local mining laws and was operating under such renewal application.
With the receipt of the formal notice, Aldridge has determined that it will take no further action in PNG, and avoid any litigation costs to seek redress.