There is little chance that Intrepid Mines' former Tujuh Bukit project in Indonesia will end up in Sumatra Copper & Gold, according to major Sumatra shareholder Gavin Caudle, who also has a big stake in the project's new Indonesian ownership vehicle.
Mr Caudle hinted he may be prepared to negotiate with Intrepid, saying the asset was too complicated to be easily developed by a company such as Sumatra C&G.
Mr Caudle's Provident Capital Partners extended its stake in Sumatra C&G on Friday, agreeing to an $8.4 million placement at 22ï¿½, a slight premium to Sumatra's last closing price of 21.5ï¿½.
Provident also agreed to underwrite a rights issue later this year, with Provident and its Indonesian allies - billionaires Edwin Soeryadjaya and Garibaldi "Boy" Thohir - likely to emerge with just over half of company.
The former Intrepid asset, controversially lost after a dispute between Intrepid and its Indonesian partners last year, is now owned by an Indonesia company that Provident also controls a large stake in.
But Mr Caudle said there was no plan afoot to send Tujuh Bukit into Sumatra C&G. He said Provident's main interest in Sumatra was the chance to demonstrate, through its planned 30,000 ounce gold Tembang mine, that gold projects in Indonesia were possible and profitable.
"Sumatra has a very straightforward path to production, they don't have any legal complications," Mr Caudle said.
"Tujuj Bukit is sitting on protected forest. So it's very binary - it's either worth nothing, or it's worth something. Today, being protected forest, it's not worth anything. So that asset has a long, long path ahead of it - way beyond anything Sumatra is going to do."
Intrepid is now mired in a running battle with some shareholders, and has threatened legal action over the loss of Tujuh Bukit. Mr Caudle was critical of Intrepid's management but he said a deal could be possible.
"I think one day Intrepid shareholders will come to appreciate that it's us and not someone else (that has it), because we're one of the only groups that would actually consider the fairness of the thing and sit down and try to work out a deal," he said, adding he had not been approached by Intrepid.