Ok Tedi Mining Limited (OTML) Chairman Sir Moi Avei KBE today announced that the Company has declared an interim dividend of PGK150 million.

In making the announcement Sir Moi noted that the dividend was a direct result of the strong performance of the Company during the first seven months of the year where an after tax (and unaudited) profit of US$140 million was generated.

He said, “this has enabled the Board to declare a dividend to the State who owns 67% of Ok Tedi and the three landowner entities which represent our communities and collectively own 33% of Company”.

Sir Moi noted that “we understand during these difficult times that our shareholders are reliant upon returns from Ok Tedi and are pleased that we can continue to provide our support. It is fortunate we are in a position where we can responsibly balance the payment of a dividend with retaining enough reserves to ensure Ok Tedi navigates its way through the current suspension of operations”.

He added that “the Board is appreciative of the efforts of Management and the workforce to place the Company in this position”. He however said that the second half of the year will be particularly challenging noting that while operations, which were temporarily suspended on 5 August 2020 and planned to resume on 14 September, will not be at full production levels for several months.

OTML Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Mr Musje Werror indicated that this initial shortfall in production was due to the quarantine protocols put in place as part of the resumption plan.

“The required quarantine periods have the effect of reducing the available work time. While this will cause short to medium term labour shortages, this will be addressed through recruitment of additional personnel,” Mr Werror said.

“The resumption controls being put in place were consistent with our commitment to the safety and wellbeing of our workforce and our communities and that the Company is well prepared to resume safe operations next week”.

Sir Moi also announced that the OTML Board had approved an updated strategic business plan that includes an extension of mine life from 2026 to 2029.  He said, “this extension of mine life is the culmination of a number of years detailed strategic planning work and will see the company generate an additional PGK 10 billion of revenue to the benefit of all stakeholders”.

He concluded by saying that the Company will continue to invest in near mine exploration to further extend mine life beyond 2029.