Major exodus from mining town Kiunga

Only a skeleton staff is operating Ok Tedi’s operations in Kiunga town, Western Province.

Since last week more than 300 families have been flown out.

PNG Loop spoke to an employee who requested anonymity says most employees and their family members left last week.

They travelled to Tabubil on the company’s small Twin Otter aircraft and then were flown out the same day.

He says most families were given only one week to pack up their belongings.

“We are not sure if they will return as the company says as we understand this measure will be in place until next year,” he says.

The company residential area known in Kiunga as the “OTML Compound” is now empty and more employees and their families are packing up to leave.

Each employee will receive a letter which informs whether they will be recalled or not.

OTML said it is preparing to shut down its operations “temporarily as a result of the dry weather event that is already significantly impacting its operations’’.

 

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