Ok Tedi Mining Ltd (OTML) plans to restart its operations in the week commencing the 14th of
September, almost six weeks after it suspended operations on August 5th due to a number of
COVID-19 cases that were reported in Tabubil.
The Company made this announcement after it initiated a contact tracing, testing and an
isolation program at the mine site.
To date over 3,000 samples have been collected with 143 positive COVID-19 cases identified
in Tabubil. Employees and contractors who have tested positive have been isolated in
controlled accommodation facilities and are all asymptomatic. Eighteen of these cases have
OTML Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Musje Werror said: “The testing program
has provided us critical information and after careful assessment we are now better informed
to restart operations without compromising the health and safety of our employees, contractors
He added that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant challenges to the business but
has also presented opportunities for OTML to review and change the way it operates.
A major change necessary to commence operations is a change to the employee roster panels
to accommodate 14 days isolation at designated Entry Point Centres. Returning employees
and contractors are required to have a negative test result before they can travel to site and
“We are establishing Entry Point Centres or isolation facilities in Port Moresby, Lae, Kokopo,
Mt Hagen, Kiunga, Tabubil and Cairns as well as at our dredging site in Bige to screen and
test all our employees and contractors before they return to work.” Mr Werror said.
Since the operation was suspended, the Company has lost about USD20 million per week in
revenue which has directly impacted foreign currency inflows into PNG. Whilst operations
are suspended, OTML continues to incur a significant amount of its normal operating costs,
and as a result losses approximating USD10 million per week which are being incurred
during this time.