Soccer Diplomacy
    Category: Issues & Ideas By : Jeffrey Hutton Read : 1230 Date : Monday, April 15, 2013 - 21:26:20

    Ahmad Zamroni / Forbes Indonesia

    The Tujuh Bukit gold deposit has reserves possibly around two million ounces—worth at least $3 billion, along with significant deposits of silver (80 million ounces) and copper (7 million ounces). Ownership of that gold mine, which could become one of the largest in Indonesia, is at the center of a struggle between two powerful and wealthy tycoons. The tug-o-war has attracted lawsuits, investigations, political maneuvering and plenty of controversy. On one side is the Australia-based and listed Intrepid Mines and the other is its former joint venture partner PT Indo Multi Niaga (IMN).

    Into the fray last September stepped Clayton “Tony” Wenas, 49, as Intrepid's executive general manager for Indonesia. Intrepid chose Tony, in part, because of his local knowledge and government contacts. Wenas is currently vice chairman of the Indonesian Mining Association and a former executive vice president and general counsel of PT Freeport. “We were looking for a prominent resources business leader who had strong relationships with various levels of government and communities,” says Intrepid's Chief Executive Brad Gordon in emailed comments. “Tony is right up there with the best.

    ” Among other tactics, Tony is taking the battle to the soccer field. This month he hopes to kick off the company's first sponsored soccer event in Banyuwa-ngi regency, the home of Tujuh Bukit. Intrepid will pay for a tournament, its prizes and even the uniforms if needed by any of the participating teams.