Mining in Indonesia and AusIMM’s125th anniversary

By on June 19, 2018

By Marcelle P. Villegas

During the recent Philippine Mining Club Luncheon at I’M Hotel, Mr Colin Moorhead, CEO of PT Merdeka Copper Gold and President of AusIMM was one of the guest speakers.

In his presentation, he discussed about Indonesia’s PT Merdeka Copper Gold, Tujuh Bukit Case Study, Mining in Indonesia, and AusIMM’s 125th year anniversary.

Colin Moorhead has over 30 years of mining and exploration experience.

In 1987, he graduated in the University of Melbourne with a BSc. (Hons) majoring in Geology and Geophysics.

He is also a graduate of Harvard Business School, Advanced Management Programme (AMP).

He was the Chief Geologist in Telfer Gold Mine (WA) in 1996 for Newcrest Mining.

He was responsible for several large scale pits, selective underground mining and near mine exploration and resource definition.

He was later the Geology Manager for Candia Hill (NSW) open pit and Ridgeway sub-level cave underground mine, project development and near mine exploration.

He became the Executive General Manager, Minerals at Newcrest Mining for almost 8 years (Jan. 2008 – Aug. 2015). [1] Mr Colin Moorhead was appointed Chief Executive Officer of PT Merdeka Copper Gold, Tbk in January 2016.

He is currently the President of AusIMM – The Minerals Institute.

The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metalurgy (or AusIMM) was founded in 1893 to provide “services to professionals engaged in all facets of the global minerals sector.”

AusIMM is a professional institute for the minerals sector and was established by mining pioneers from many countries.

This year, AusIMM celebrates its 125th anniversary.

AusIMM also focuses on providing leadership and opportunities to mineral industry professionals.

They deliver an ongoing program of professional development services so that members are supported with their careers, enabling them to provide high-quality professional input to industry and the community.

AusIMM represents 13,000 members coming from all sections of the industry. They are supported by a network of branches and societies in Australasia and in other countries. [2] AusIMM is one of the parent bodies of Joint Ore Resources Committee (JORC).

AusIMM’s future directions are Digital Capability, Services, Codes and Standards, and Trusted Voice.

Mr Colin is also the CEO of emerging Indonesian gold producer PT Merdeka Copper Gold.

The word “merdeka” in the Indonesian language means “independent” or “free.”

It originated from the Sanskrit word “maharddhika” which means “rich, prosperous and powerful”, [3] in the same way the sound-alike in Filipino language “maharlika” refers to the upper class or the royal family of pre-colonial Philippines.

In Indonesian culture, the word “merdeka” has deep political and historical roots as it used to designate freedom from the Dutch colonial government during the struggle for independence in the 1940s. [4] In the mining industry in Indonesia, the company PT Merdeka Copper and Gold holds to the same word connotation with a goal “to be an industry leading producer of gold, silver, copper and other minerals in Indonesia.”

The mining company started in 2012 with their headquarters in Jakarta and having two major company shareholders, PT Saratoga Investama Sedaya Tbk and PT Provident Capital Indonesia.

[5] During his presentation at the PMCL, Mr Colin mentioned that mining in Indonesia has many similarities with mining in the Philippines.

In both countries, good social performance and sustainable mining practices are essential.

He also pointed out that Indonesia is a great address for copper and gold mining.

The company’s flagship asset is in the Tujuh Bukit where there is an abundance of 28 M oz of gold and 19 B lbs of copper.

Gold production began in March 2017 and is delivering substantial cash flow which is expected to increase in the years to come (EBITDA of US$100 Million in 9 months).

The sponsors include Provident, Saratoga and Boy Thohir, controlling shareholders of telecom infrastructure company Tower Bersama (market cap of ~US$2 billion), and coal miner Adaro (market cap ~US$5 billion).

Substantial organic and inorganic opportunities should be available in Indonesia in order for the company to become the leading Asian mining company.

Recent highlights: 1. Oxide mine constructed & commissioned – first gold March 17

  1. Mine produced >140koz at AISC $425/oz (EBITDA US$100m) in first 9 months + 6 million hours LTI Free
  2. Oxide Expansion Study completed and approved – deliver 30% reserves growth.
  3. Porphyry Project Concept Study completed and Exploration Decline + PFS commenced.
  4. Takeover bid for Finders Resources (Wetar Copper Mine) successful.

Oxide Operations – Simple & Low Cost

  • Conventional open pit mining from 5 low strip ratio pits.
  • Ore is crushed to 75mm and agglomerated at 4mtpa through the Ore Prep. Plant
  • Crushed agglomerate is trucked to the Heap Leach Pad where it is irrigated.
  • Pregnant solution is pumped to the ADR Plant where gold and silver is recovered.
  • Water balance is managed via 6 dams + detox system if required.
  • Targeting 70% local workforce.


For the past 8 years, the Philippine Mining Club is closely affiliated with the Melbourne Mining Club.

The group was formed to create better relationships across all areas of the mining industry whose aim is to uphold a professional networking environment in promoting the exploration, extraction and minerals industry of the country.

For more information about the Philippine Mining Club Luncheon, please visit or send your enquiries at info@ References [1] Colin Moorhead – [2] AusIMM – [3] Merdeka – https://en.wikipedia.

org/wiki/Merdeka [4] Merdeka – word used by Indonesian poet Charil Anwar, referring to Indonesia’s independence from their Dutch colonisers [5] Merdeka Copper and Gold – http://


Acknowledgment: Thanks to Kevin Lewis and Jocelyn Velarde of Philippine Mining Club for the additional references.


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