Ok Tedi mine com­mences new phase

The life of the key Ok Tedi cop­per mine in PNG'S West­ern Prov­ince is to be ex­tended for an­other 11 years. New Chief Op­er­at­ing Of­fi­cer Musje Wer­ror out­lines the plan.

Business Advantage Papua New Guinea - - Mining -

BAPNG: PNG’S Par­lia­ment passed leg­is­la­tion in Novem­ber 2014, ex­tend­ing the life of the Mine by 11 years un­til 2025, what are the plans for the com­ing years? MW: We have been pre­par­ing for the mine life con­tin­u­a­tion since 2009, when we com­menced the con­sul­ta­tion process with the mine-as­so­ci­ated com­mu­ni­ties in the West­ern Prov­ince.

Dur­ing the con­sul­ta­tion, we in­formed the com­mu­ni­ties that the mine will be smaller, gen­er­at­ing less rev­enue and prof­its and be­cause of this, the com­pany will be im­ple­ment­ing a num­ber of ini­tia­tives to en­sure the busi­ness re­mains vi­able.

Over the com­ing years, we will con­tinue to re­view and val­i­date the changes that have been im­ple­mented to en­sure that we fully re­alise the benefits and sav­ings from th­ese ini­tia­tives.

We are also pre­par­ing for the fu­ture be­yond 2025 and will con­tinue to fund our ex­plo­ration pro­grams on our near-mine ex­plo­ration leases. BAPNG: How much of the mine life ex­ten­sion is go­ing to be drawn from the ex­ist­ing re­sources you cur­rently have in pit, and how im­por­tant is it to ac­tu­ally find new de­posits? MW: The cur­rent life of mine plan is based on the cur­rent ore body. The next four-to-five years are go­ing to be very lean times for the com­pany and there­fore we are con­duct­ing en­hanced drilling pro­grams within the cur­rent op­er­at­ing mine lease, in ad­di­tion to ac­cel­er­ated ex­plo­ration pro­grams at our near-mine ex­plo­ration leases, to pro­vide ad­di­tional ore. BAPNG: What are your hopes for find­ing more re­sources? MW: There is huge po­ten­tial for this mine to con­tinue well be­yond 2025, given the high min­eral prospects in the area. How­ever, this is de­pen­dent on us find­ing ac­cept­able waste so­lu­tions. BAPNG: Re­gard­ing your ex­plo­ration pro­gramme specif­i­cally, where are you look­ing at the mo­ment? MW: We are ac­tively drilling a num­ber of ex­plo­ration leases owned 100% by OTML around our cur­rent Spe­cial Min­ing Lease and will un­der­take prefea­si­bil­ity stud­ies to de­ter­mine if they are eco­nom­i­cally vi­able be­fore we ad­vance to the next stage. BAPNG: You’re a Pa­pua New Guinean in­volved at the high­est level in run­ning a Png-owned mine. This is a first in Ok Tedi’s his­tory. How sig­nif­i­cant do you feel this is? MW: I think it’s very sig­nif­i­cant, in the sense that Ok Tedi has been the leader in a num­ber of lead­ing edge ini­tia­tives and my ap­point­ment is one such ex­am­ple. It paves the way for other PNG re­source com­pa­nies to fol­low the same path in the near fu­ture.

Ok Tedi Min­ing’s Musje Wer­ror speak­ing at an in­dus­try con­fer­ence in late 2014.

Blast­ing at the Ok Tedi mine at Mount Fu­bi­lan, West­ern Prov­ince

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