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Monday, May 21, 2012
Ok Tedi Mining Ltd plans to extend mine life
Ok Tedi Mining Ltd (OTML) – one of PNG’s biggest revenue
earners - is in the process of undertaking a feasibility study to extend mine
life as an alternative to closure, The National reports.
This was confirmed by OTML general manager -
government and external relations, Musje Werror, at a mining and petroleum
workshop for PNG media at the Gateway Hotel in Port Moresby last Friday.
mine life extension
The study is expected to be completed by next month
(June) with parliament to enact what is known as the 10th
Supplementary Agreement (10SA) in 2013 to extend mine life.
OTML is planning for an orderly closure of the
current mine in 2013, however, management considers this to be an opportunity to
extend mine life by another seven years from 2015 to 2022 by a combination of
two underground mines and one open pit operation.
Any decision to extend the closure of Ok Tedi to 2022
requires the approval of the state and the informed consent of the communities
that are impacted by the existence of the mine.
This message is now being disseminated to local
communities from the community mine continuation agreement (CMCA) regions,
state authorities as well as political leaders of the province.
OTML’s workforce and other stakeholders are also
being kept informed of developments relating to possible extension of mine
Werror said the goal of mine life extension (MLE)
was “to provide detailed information to the mine-affected communities so that
they can make an informed decision to either support mine life extension or
insist on its closure”.
OTML is now carrying out the massive task of MLE
consultation and consent in nine CMCA regions, 156 villages, over 100,000
people and covering 800km of Western province.
The three-tier consultation structure involves
villages, regions and delegates with external facilitators Tanorama,
independent observers, and an independent reviewer.
OTML says on its website that mine life extension
will produce an estimated 90 million tonnes of ore containing close to 700,000
tonnes of copper and 2.3 million ounces of gold over the extension period.
“The mine will be a lot smaller in size to the
current operations,” it says,
“Ok Tedi’s current annual copper and gold production
is 160,000 tonnes and 540,000 ounces gold respectively.
“The most significant impact will be the requirement
for disposal of an estimated 280 million tonnes of waste rock and tailing from
open cut mining and mill processing.
“Mine extension will generate K3 billion in state
revenues (dividends, taxes, royalties).
“Other benefits include extended lease payments, a
level of on-going compensation and tax credit infrastructure and maintenance of
social services for the people of North Fly and the rest of Western province.
Additional dividends will also flow to PNG Sustainable
Development Program Ltd.