Ok Tedi bounces back after fire

Image: Ok Tedi Mining.

Ok Tedi Mining has returned to usual production levels after a fire damaged two processing circuits at the Papua New Guinean copper-gold-silver mine during December.

The company restored the processing circuits over the weekend after restarting the SAG-2 circuit in early January.

Ok Tedi mining managing director and chief executive Musje Werror commended the team’s efforts in safely restoring the SAG-1 circuit for nearly six weeks.

The financial impact however, is estimated at around $US100 million ($131 million).

“The commitment shown by our workforce, particularly over the festive season was testament to the One Team Wan Pasin (One Team, One Culture) spirit at Ok Tedi,” Werror said.

“Returning the first two circuits to operation was a key milestone as it allowed the company to recommence production and meet our January shipments.

“Damage sustained to the SAG-1 was, however, more severe and required two new switching equipment. The new equipment, which was flown to site on a specially chartered Hercules C130 aircraft last week, was successfully installed over the weekend.”

Despite the large financial hit, Werror said that Ok Tedi maintained a strong balance sheet to protect the company against such accidents, citing its resilience against the COVID-19 pandemic and 2018 earthquake as previous examples of this.

“We have demonstrated previously that the company is able to remain profitable and healthy despite such challenges and we expect to do so again in 2021,” he said.

The Ok Tedi mine received a three-year mine life extension last September, pushing its operations out to at least 2029.

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