The National, Thursday 6th September, 2012
OK Tedi Mining Ltd managing director and chief executive Nigel Parker hopes the mine life extension (MLE) feasibility study and associated environmental studies will be completed by November.
He is also hopeful of obtaining community consent and government approvals for an additional 11-year MLE after 2015.
Parker, however, expressed disappointment at political status and lack of government attention on OTML issues, despite the company’s contributions to the economy
“At the exit of BHP, the mine was expected to close in 2010,” he said at a meeting with Western Governor Ati Wobiro in Tabubil last Saturday.
“Subsequent years have seen significant growth in revenues driven by consistent concentrate production and metal prices.
“In January 2011, OTML bought back the Inmet Mining Corporation’s 18% shareholding for US$ 335 million and those shares were cancelled.
“The surviving shareholders equity increased proportionately as result of the cancellation of the Inmet shares: PNG Sustainable Development Program Ltd 63.40%; the government of PNG 36.60%
“The current mine life has been reassessed and is expected to close in 2015.”
Parker said the current approved open pit mine plan would be depleted by 2015.
“Approval of further open pit cutbacks is contingent on no net increase in environmental impact compared to closure of the current operation in 2015, and achieving informed community consent,” he said.
“MLE will process 181 metric tonnes of ore – grading 0.63% copper and 0.77 grams per tonne gold – to produce one metric ton copper and 3.3 million ounces gold in concentrate over the 10 years from 2015
“Without MLE, a remnant resource of 704mt grading 0.55% copper and 0.6gpt gold will remain in Mt Fubilan.”
Parker said expansion of the pit would occur in four areas:
n West Wall: North end of west wall in the region of the Edinburgh limestone quarry.South end of the west wall in the Berlin and Paris ridge region;
• North East: North east corner of the pit between Fubilan pit and Taranaki pit;
• Gold Coast: South end of the east wall; and
• PD15: Northern end of Fubilan Pit (PD15).