Ok Tedi Mining Limited (OTML) has surpassed its annual sediment dredge target of 10 Million Cubic Meters (Mm3) and its rehabilitation target of 35 hectares for 2023 at its Bige Operations, located 125km from the mine.

The Bige Operations dredged 10.3 Mm3 of river sediments and rehabilitated 40 hectares (ha) of sand stockpile in 2023.

This achievement highlights the company’s dedication to managing the sediment loads in the Ok Tedi and Fly River systems, thereby preventing adverse environmental and social impacts.

Although, the Bige Operations Team had set an annual sediment dredge target at 10Mm3 and 35ha of stockpile rehabilitation for 2023, they have exceeded those figures through hard work, perseverance and commitment despite a few challenges, including the dry weather.

Manager Bige Operations Naimen Kepan, said achieving these targets is important to OTML as it contributes to maintaining the company’s social license to operate while mitigating the impacts of riverine sediments on the environment and the associated implications on local communities.

“This is a crucial aspect of responsible mining and is in line with our Ok Tedi Environment Management Act (OTEMA) guidelines and requirements,” Mr Kepan said.

“Achieving our target in rehabilitation brings us a step closer to rehabilitating our (East Bank) stockpile in line with OTML’s Mine Area Rehabilitation Plan (MARP) requirements and Closure Plan to leave a self-sustainable environment for the local community post mine closure,” Mr Kepan said.

The collaboration between different OTML teams and the dredging contractor Dredeco, demonstrates an inclusive and integrated approach to safely achieving the set targets without major incidents.

Approximately 10 Mm3 (~17Mt) of sand is removed from the river each year and placed in engineered stockpiles for rehabilitation works.

OTML has dredged approximately 436Mt of sand from the river since 1998 and will continue to meet its annual dredging and rehabilitation targets.