Inmet: Ok Tedi strike big trouble

Business, Main Stories

TORONTO: Canada’s Inmet Mining Corp confirmed that the Ok Tedi mine in Western province, which was subject to what it called “illegal work action” by unionised employees a week ago, would also hurt its 2010 production.
The work action by union employees at the Ok Tedi mine was due to concerns on distributions under an employee retention bonus arrangement that was not part of the industrial agreement, Inmet said in a statement.
Inmet said that the PNG Department of Labour and Industrial Relations, called in to facilitate talks between the company and the union, indicated that the strike action is “unlawful” and that employees should return to work.
The base metals miner said that discussions between the parties were continuing and that it was currently not possible to say how long the work action would last.
Toronto-based Inmet’s estimated that for each day the work action continued, its 2010 copper production would be hurt by 80 tonnes a day, while its gold production would be hurt by 300oz a day.
Inmet estimates that it has already lost about 0.4% of its forecast copper production this year and 1% of its forecast gold production to date.
In January, Inmet had said its expected share of copper production at Ok Tedi would be 39,300 tonnes, while gold production would be 109,3000oz.
Inmet shares were down C$1.35 at C$59.70 (K160.40) in morning trade yesterday on the Toronto Stock Exchange. – Reuters