Environmental Compliance

Ok Tedi Mine is governed by extensive government legislation and regulations.
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Legal Compliance Framework

The Ok Tedi Mine, through the Ok Tedi Agreement, is governed by the Ok Tedi Mining Act, 1976, (as amended and supplemented). The schedule to this Act is the Principle Agreement between OTML and the State.

The Ninth Supplement Agreement, which was passed through the PNG Parliament in 2001, has adopted a strict Environmental Regime which contains OTML’s environmental obligations.

The Regime is underpinned by six environmental values which are aimed at ensuring availability and safety of land and water-based resources, water quality and Fly River channel navigability.

The Environmental Regime requires that OTML undertake specific annual monitoring activities and prepare an Annual Environmental Report for the regulator Conservation & Environment Protection Authority (CEPA) against six environmental values that relate to:

  • the assessment of water quality downstream of the operation in terms of potability;
  • the availability of normal aquatic resources such as fish and edible aquatic flora to meet normal community requirements;
  • the safe edibility of these aquatic resources;
  • the availability of normal terrestrial resources such as dry land on which to establish gardens, hunt and gather firewood, to meet normal community requirements;
  • the safe edibility of these terrestrial resources such as crops, and natural forest resources included in the normal dietary intake of the local community; and
  • water levels in the main Ok Tedi and Fly River channels for navigation by commercial and village craft.

Environmental Key Indicators

  • Dissolved and bioavailable copper concentrations in the river water
  • Acid-base geochemistry of riverine sediments at the lower Ok Tedi Levee
  • Fish flesh metal concentrations
  • Average tailings sulphur discharge content
  • Quarterly average Net Acid Production Potential (NAPP) in tailings
  • Quarterly average Net Acid Production Potential (NAPP) in waste dumps

Compliance Monitoring

OTML undertakes a comprehensive environmental monitoring program as governed by the Ok Tedi Agreement.

Key monitoring programs measure the ongoing impacts of sediment deposition from treated tailings and waste rock into the riverine system, water quality, fauna and flora in the aquatic and terrestrial systems.

Monitoring is undertaken from Mt. Fubilan down the river systems to the Gulf of Papua, some 1,000 river kilometres downstream of the Mine.