BlackGold ropes in mining veteran

Coal miner appoints Indonesian businessman 'with Midas touch' as consultant

Catalist-listed coal miner BlackGold Natural Resources has appointed mining veteran Johanes Budisutrisno Kotjo as a consultant.

As well as providing counsel on general strategic and business planning matters, Mr Kotjo - known widely across Singapore's business circles during the 1990s as the man with the Midas touch - will guide the group in stakeholder management and administrative matters.

The Indonesian businessman will also offer advice when it comes to reviewing potential joint-venture partners and projects.

Mr Kotjo has held various key roles in companies within the mining and energy sectors, including president commissioner of Jakarta-listed Apac Citra Centertex from 1995 to 2014. He entered into his first resource venture with American mining mogul Robert Friedland in 1994.

"With more than 22 years of experience in the mining and energy industry, Mr Kotjo brings to the group a wealth of experience from his successful career," said Mr Phil Rickard, chief executive of BlackGold Group.

"I am confident that he will make many important contributions to BlackGold, and I am thrilled to welcome him to our advisory team."

A former top executive of Indonesia's powerful Salim Group, Mr Kotjo lit up the corporate scene here in the early 1990s.

He was instrumental in turning Singapore-listed Van Der Horst from a loss-making marine engineering company into a profitable power producer, taking its shares to dizzying heights before the firm crash-landed into voluntary judicial management.

In December 1995, the Stock Exchange of Singapore censured Mr Kotjo for creating a false market in the shares of paper and packaging group United Pulp & Paper (UPP). This was not long after he bought over UPP together with two fellow Indonesian tycoons.

The penalty was a 30-month ban from holding directorship in any listed company here, apart from his then positions at Van Der Horst and food group ABR.

BlackGold shares fell 1.1 cents or 21.2 per cent to 4.1 cents at its last close on March 8.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 02, 2016, with the headline 'BlackGold ropes in mining veteran'. Print Edition | Subscribe