Ok Tedi to Shift to High-Grade Ore Production

By: PNG Business News June 13, 2022

Photo credit: Ok Tedi Mining

According to the company, Ok Tedi Mining Ltd (OTLM) will complete the shift from current lower grade ore to high grade ore sources, over the next 12 months.

Musje Werror, managing director and chief executive officer of OTML, and Roger Higgins, board chairman, said they had hoped to see the transition by the fourth quarter of 2022, but the impact of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) on material movement in the mine over the last 15 months had pushed it back to 2023.

Copper output was 21% lower than the previous year, owing to a 26% drop in the copper grade of ore processed, according to OTML.

Gold output was down 25% from the previous year due to a 32% decline in gold grade and effects from the process plant fire and the Covid-19.

Despite the decreased output, revenue remained within 6% of the previous year, according to the study.

“This was primarily due to the copper price strengthening in 2021,” Werror said.

“The gold price was largely unchanged.

“Total operating costs in 2021 were K190 million or seven per cent higher than the previous year.

“As a result, the 2021 profit after tax was K376 million, generating K331 million of free cash flow.

“This enabled the company to pay a K450 million dividend, retain K251 million of cash reserves and have no debt at year end.

“In addition, OTML contributed US$675 million (about K2.3 billion) in foreign reserves to the domestic market.”

Meanwhile, OTML achieved headway following the development of umbrella firms representing the interests of mining villages, impacted people, and the province as part of the local and regional suppliers initiative to maximise value for PNG.

“The intent is to develop companies with an operational capability and financial resilience that will exist beyond Ok Tedi,” Werror said.

“We are also looking to support initiatives that broaden the industry base beyond mining.”


Reference: The National (6 June 2022). “Ok Tedi to transition to high-grade ore production”.

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