Full steam ahead at Ok Tedi on both production and lease renewal

Papua New Guinea copper & gold mining major Ok Tedi Mining Ltd (OTML) has announced a record production result for the first quarter of 2024, with an achievement of 26,114 dry metric tonnes (dmt) of copper, marking a substantial increase of 61% compared to the same period last year which was 16,265 dmt.

This record production has been complemented with a safe start to the year with a Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate (LTIFR) of zero (0) and Total Recordable Injury Frequency Rate (TRIFR) of 0.22 compared to 2023 with LTIFR and TRIFR recorded at 0.21 and 0.63 respectively. Unlike in the past, the strong production results this time it said were achieved with all environmental KPIs at the mine, mill and Bige dredging site being fully met.

OTML said the performance is a testament to its commitment to responsibly enhancing production, implementing strategic business improvements, and optimising operational efficiency across the entire production chain, from mine and mill to the port. It added: “These results are driven by OTMLs ‘restore, reset, and reinvigorate’ strategy, launched in 2023 to revitalise our business operations. Importantly, the company remains committed to fulfilling our environmental, legal, and social obligations, consistent with its vision to maintaining positive relationships with the communities impacted by our operations, and thereby securing the social license to continue to operate, which is vital for our ongoing success.”

Looking ahead, with the approval for the Mine Life Extension in principle up to 2050 by the OTML Board, the company is poised for sustainable growth well into the future.

OTML has also successfully renewed its Special Mining Lease (SML) 1 (0), gaining an additional 20-year lease term from 2022 to 2042. This is the second SML 1 (0) lease term extension for OTML. The initial SML 1 (0) lease, granted in 1981 expired in May 2002 and was extended for another 20 years until its expiration in 2022. An application for the renewal of the SML 1 (0) and associated leases for mining purposes in compliance with the Mining Act 1992 provisions was lodged with the Mineral Resources Authority on Monday December 20th, 2021 resulting in the current extension grant.

The SML 1 (0) lease renewal includes renewal of 22 Lease for Mining Purposes (LMP) and two (2) Mining Easement which are tied to the term of SML 1 (0). The 24 ancillary leases hosts supporting infrastructure for the mining operations while the SML 1(0) lease is the host area for active mining and milling operations activities.

While speaking at the SML 1 Presentation event at the Stanley Hotel in Port Moresby on April 23, OTML Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Kedi Ilimbit, thanked all stakeholders involved in furnishing the extension of the SML 1(0) citing OTML’s gratitude and excitement in continuing to explore opportunities for sustainable resource development in the region while also providing social and economic benefits to its impact communities and the country.