Mine ClosureOk Tedi Mining Limited has a comprehensive Mine Closure Plan for what happens after the mine closes in 2025.
OTML has a current, comprehensive Mine Closure Plan that describes the detailed plan for rehabilitation of the mine, ore processing plant and Bige stockpile areas after the cessation of mining and ore processing activity in 2025.
It also describes the plan for orderly management of the Tabubil township assets after closure and includes a plan for the management of the redundant workforce and their repatriation out of Tabubil.
The closure vision is that rehabilitated areas will support self-sustaining vegetation dominated by native species and will be suitable for use consistent with that of surrounding natural areas, at a lower intensity. Operational assets retained after closure will be operated and maintained by a new owner.
At the completion of mining, buildings will be removed, areas made safe, landforms stabilised and the introduction of vegetation dominated by native species over disturbed areas. All tenements will be relinquished at the end of mine closure when rehabilitation meets the completion criteria
Long-term scientific monitoring of the mine-affected environment for 30 years after closure is a further component of the plan.
Closure Planning History
Formal mine closure planning commenced at Ok Tedi in 1998 with stakeholder engagement and the subsequent development of a Conceptual Rehabilitation and Closure Plan.
Stakeholder consultation continued and in 2000 OTML submitted a Rehabilitation and Closure Plan, along with a report on social and sustainable development issues, to the State.
In 2001 the PNG Mine Closure and Decommissioning Code (Code) was enacted, and in line with the Code OTML have continued stakeholder consultation and have submitted updated mine closure plans to the State every three years.
In 2021, the OTML Board approved an updated Strategic Business Plan that saw mine life extended by three years from 2029 to 2032.
A detailed mine closure plan was completed in 2009 and the plan was updated in 2013 and 2016, with another update scheduled for 2019. Four years before mine closure, we are required to submit another detailed mine closure plan.
Financial Assurance Fund
The Ok Tedi Mine Closure and Decommissioning Code 2001 required OTML to establish and contribute to a Mine Closure Fund referred to in the Mine Closure Code as the ‘Ok Tedi Financial Assurance Fund’ or FAF. The FAF was established to provide ‘Financial Assurance’ for the performance of the Mine Closure Plan.
OTML has an obligation to ensure there are adequate amounts in the Mine Closure Fund to undertake the Mine Closure Plan at the estimated date of Cessation of Commercial Production.
OTML’s most recent Detailed Mine Closure Plan, which was approved by the Minister for Mining on 7 May 2012, updated in 2016, and approved by the regulators in 2017, determined that that the Fund should contain USD $200M to meet its obligations. As at 31 December 2022, the FAF holds USD 241 M.
The assets and liabilities are recorded on our balance sheet. The assets of the Ok Tedi Financial Assurance Fund are legally separate from OTML and are not available to meet the claims of creditors in any winding up of the company. They are irrevocably dedicated to funding open pit mine closure costs and cannot be used for any other purpose.