INDOCHINE Mining says it will vigorously defend its exploration licence for the Mt Kare project after it was hit with an injunction from landowners claiming it had not complied with licence conditions.

Indochine chairman Dermott McVeigh announced in the company’s September quarterly report that landowner representative body Kare Puga Development Corporation had attempted to block its renewal of Exploration Licence (EL) 1093.

“According to legal advice received by the company, the summons is without merit and is being vigorously defended,” Mr McVeigh said.

News of the injunction came only days after the company celebrated the signing of the land investigation report (LIR) at Mt Kare.

The company said the signing represented a “major milestone for the project in solving the complex and challenging landowner issues associated with Mt Kare for decades”.

It followed the successful completion of a land investigation study in July 2014 – a key license condition for EL 1093.

“The LIR document will shortly be submitted to the Lands Department in Port Moresby for registration, and form the basis of conveying customary land for leasing by the state to the company under a mining lease,” Mr McVeigh said.

Indochine continues to seek joint venture participation in the Mt Kare project, with the company indicating it is carefully managing activities on site to conserve cash while it works on a deal.

“Discussions are ongoing with various parties and the company anticipates a conclusion in the near future,” Mr McVeigh said.

Mr McVeigh said in the company’s September quarterly report they had appointed PCF Capital Group as advisers in their pursuit of investors.

“The timing of future expenditure is dependent on utilising existing cash and financing facilities currently available to the company and the progression of financing discussions,” Mr McVeigh said.

The company said they had identified a site at Mt Kare for the proposed exploration adit and were waiting for approval from the Mineral Resource Authority (MRA) to start work on the portal and access.

“Heavy equipment for the development of the exploration adit has been sourced and will be relocated to Mt Kare once the MRA approval is held,” Mr McVeigh said.

The company said it had identified three areas of mineralisation for future drill targets after completing mapping of the extent of the oxide ore south of the Black Zone.

Indochine ended the quarter with cash of A$1.1 million and issued capital of 1,206,950,301 fully paid ordinary shares.

The company completed a $3.5 million capital raising in September at $0.032 per share for a total issue of 110,670,000 ordinary shares.