WESTERN province’s Rumginae Hospital, which treats about 12,000 patients a year, received a new US$50,000 (K137,174) ambulance from one of Ok Tedi Mining Limited’s (OTML) copper concentrate buyers.
The rural hospital, run by PNG’s Evangelical church, received the donation from Aurubis AG on Feb 8.
Aurubis is a German-based company and is one of the world’s largest copper concentrate smelters and is OTML’s oldest customer (since 1986) and currently buys up to 60,000 tonnes of copper concentrate every year.
It also buys 50% of OTML’s gravity concentrates, which is about 120 tonnes per annum.
Aurubis vice-president for primary copper, Dr Thomas Buenger, said: “We hope the new ambulance will go a long way towards helping to improve the lives of the communities.
“Most of the rural communities depend on the hospital for medical attention. It is proper for us to donate the ambulance to help the hospital continue serving the rural folk.”
Aurubis head of concentrates Nicholas Albrecht also shared the same sentiments, adding that Aurubis would continue to help communities through such donations.
“We’ve been one of the first customers in the beginning of the mining operation of Ok Tedi and from the beginning, we felt a strong relationship, not only with the mining operation but also for the communities of Ok Tedi,” he said.
Hospital medical superintendent Dr Adeline Sitther, while thanking Aurubis, said the new ambulance was a blessing as the hospital’s only ambulance was about 10 years old.
“Maintenance is costly to keep it roadworthy,” he said.
This is the second time Aurubis is helping the hospital.
In 2002, it funded the construction of a double-storey classroom for community health workers training.
Also in 2008, Aurubis donated an X-ray machine to the Kiunga Hospital.