OTML celebrates 35 years since first production
Ok Tedi Mining Limited (OTML) has produced 5 million tonnes of copper, 15 million ounces of gold and 33 million ounces of silver since commencement of production in August 1984, and has generated over 21 billion kina for the people of Western Province and PNG.
Speaking at the 35th anniversary celebrations yesterday (Sunday 25th August), the Managing Director and CEO, Peter Graham mentioned the statistics while congratulating everyone who has been and is an integral part of the operation of OTML on achieving this milestone achievement.
“Last year we celebrated 50 years since the resource was discovered at Mt Fubilan. This year its 35 years since we started production at Ok Tedi; that says something about how strong and resilient we are to keep on operating through 35 years, and that was through some difficult times; like the earthquakes, landslips and dry weather,” Mr Graham said.
“Ok Tedi on the world stage is a significant player; it is recognised around the world as a significant mining operation,” Mr Graham said.
He acknowledged the company’s strongest and longest stakeholders – our customers, the staff, contract partners, the local community from the mine area and the river communities.
Mr Graham spoke about the recent visit by representatives of Ok Tedi’s smelter customers who visited the operations from August 13th – 14th.
“In the past week or so we had visitors in town from our smelter customers in Japan, Korea and the Philippines. They’ve been our customers for 35 years, and they came here to reinforce the relationship that Ok Tedi has with them. That is unique anywhere in the world, I would suggest, for a mining operation to have retained the same customers for 35 years, and speaks volumes about the nature and integrity of Ok Tedi; that our customers have stuck with us through thick and thin for that long period of time,” Mr Graham said.
A special word of appreciation was made to the local community, the community leaders and landowners for their continued support and good relationship with OTML.
Mr Graham said, “Today we are a globally competitive producer and we are very proud of that. That is a result of our workforce efforts and our contract partners who work with us to make ourselves competitive as any other mine in the world.”
The anniversary was celebrated with a number of activities. There was a parade and float, and a marching competition to kick start the day, followed by a song competition, speeches, traditional sing-sing groups and a live band performance by the Gedix and Malahiffz bands from Madang Province.
The indoor stadium was open to arts and crafts sellers, who came with a range of items from hand-made jewellery, paintings, pottery to carvings, baskets and bilums. Also on display was a media board showcasing the historical timeline of OTML from 1963 and looking beyond the year 2025. Posted up on display boards were images capturing the development and growth of the company’s operations, people and community over the years since discovery of Mt Fubilan in 1963, where the current Ok Tedi Mine sits today.