Relocation project continues
OK Tedi Mining Ltd (OTML) says its K800 million crusher relocation project has not been affected during its six-week suspension of operations.
Chief executive and managing director Musje Werror said the project was critical to the mine in terms of accessing high grade material from the mine.
“One of the major projects that has not been impacted by the suspension is the K800 million crusher relocation project which is expected to be delivered by the end of the year,” he said.
“This project is critical to the mine accessing high grade material, increasing metal production and cash generation from 2022.”
In a previous interview with The National early this year, the company’s former boss, Peter Graham, said OTML was investing K800 million in replacing and relocating the mine’s in-pit crusher.
“This is a strategically important project in that it allows access to high grade ore underneath the existing in-pit crusher,” he said.
“While the in-pit crusher replacement project will be completed by mid-2020, there is a considerable amount of waste stripping necessary in 2020-2021 to provide access to the higher grade ore from 2022.
“With access to the higher grade ore, copper concentrate production will increase significantly.”
It is understood that the project was approved by the OTML board in 2017.
“The relocation would release value in the company’s productivity and is expected to double returns on investment cost,” Werror said.
“This was a high value opportunity that was identified in our 2016 strategic planning cycle and was expected to generate a return of double our investment.
“There is significant value opportunity associated with the crusher relocation.”
Meanwhile, Werror said operations at Ok Tedi resumed safely on Monday with the key focus for the day to get the workforce settled back into work after the six-week suspension.
“It has been a tough period managing the Covid-19 situation at our mine after the first positive case was detected on Aug 5 in Tabubil but thankfully the intervention measures put in place helped to stop the spread of the virus,” he said.