By SHEILA LASIBORI
THE 16-day strike by workers of Ok Tedi Mining Ltd (OTML) resulted in an estimated shortfall in production by 20,000 tonnes of copper concentrate.
This is equal to about 5,000 tonnes of copper and 18,000 ounces of gold, according to OTML managing director Alan Breen.
“The impact on output and profit will be less than has been widely reported as we took the opportunity to do important plant maintenance during the dispute,” Mr Breen said.
He also added that OTML would revisit its mine plans to optimise grade and production to further improve output.
“OTML is budgeted to produce 162,000 tonnes copper and 600,000 oz of gold this year.
“We are fortunate that at Ok Tedi, we have experienced people and a well-established and safe mining operation,” Mr Breen said.
He said at the end of the first quarter ending March, OTML was 3% ahead of budget output and K30 million below budget operating costs.
“We have the people and the desire to still get close to budget by the end of the year by continuing the recent improvements in productivity and cost reduction initiatives,” Mr Breen said.
OTML said yesterday that it would recover lost production worth about K100 million during its remaining production period in the remainder of this year.
The 16-day strike by about 1,500 workers started on April 1 and ended last Friday with the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) reached between OTML, Ok Tedi Mining and Allied Workers Union, and the State through Mineral Resources Authority (MRA).
The strike by the workers was in relation to claims of unfair distribution of shares in success scheme (SISS) funds. Under the MoU OTML management vowed to address issues raised by the workers by Aug 1 this year.
These include the settlement of the home ownership scheme, end of mine life fund, mine closure packages and early retirement and redundancy tax concerns.
The workers returned to work on Saturday.