Tag Archives: Ok Tedi

Ok Tedi Mine Landowners Get Share Certificates

Post Courier | April 17, 2018

The people of Western Province finally own 33 percent of the giant Ok Tedi Copper Mine following the handover of equity share certificates by Ok Tedi Mining Limited Board Chairman Sir Moi Avei to Governor Taboi Awi Yoto yesterday in Kiunga.

“OTML is now a third owned by the people of Western Province,” Sir Moi told a large gathering of locals and invited guests in front of the grand Cassowary hotel.

“We have heard so much about this 33 percent. Is it every going to happen? The board in its wisdom made a decision that the only way to move this share transfer is loan MRDC K30million to pay for the stamp duty. Governor the stamp duty has been paid. OTML is now one third owned by the people of Western Province,” Sir Moi Avei told the excited crowds.

He also said this ensures that politics cannot interfere now because they own more than thirty percent of the mine.
Western Governor Taboi Yoto said in the past we were told that we own 63 percent but we do not have direct control of the funds.

“We have direct control of the 33 percent and that’s the difference,” Mr Taboi Yoto said.

According to the Governor out of the 33 percent, 12 percent is owned by CMCA communities through their board, the mine villages own 8.4 percent and the Fly River Provincial Government owns 12.6 percent.

“For the government with the four MPs, the PEC members and the LLG presidents, we will decide how we will use the money for development purposes.

“I thank the government of Prime Minister Peter O’Neill for this.”

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Amendments Made To Ok Tedi Agreement

Post Courier | April 16, 2018

PARLIAMENT has made amendments to the Ok Tedi Agreement to allow the company access to US$35 million (K116m) to sustain its operations and growth.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, who introduced the Ok Tedi Continuation, Ninth Supplemental Agreement Act in Parliament last week, said Ok Tedi Mine Limited is obliged to establish a reserve account to be kept in US dollars in an account approved by the company and the State.

He said to meet that purpose a fund (referred to as the financial assurance fund, or FAF, was established. The sole purpose of the FAF is to ensure funds are set aside to meet the mine closure obligations.

“On a regular basis (every four years from the time it was first done in 2009), Ok Tedi Mining Limited reviews the mine closure liability, with such review being independently audited, and submitted to the MRA and CEPA for approval,” Mr O’Neill said

He said the most recent review and audit was completed in 2017 with the approved mine closure estimate being $196 million.

He said the FAF currently has a balance of approximately US$231 million and is therefore over funded by approximately US$35 million.

“OTML, operating as a commercial entity, has high value opportunities to better use those funds for sustainment and growth investments in the business, and would like the ability to withdraw excess funds subject to approval by the State.”

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PNG government to sue BHP Billiton over alleged environmental damage

Children playing in tailings downstream from the Ok Tedi Mine in Papua New Guinea, 2009. (Brent Stirton/Getty Images)

ABC News | 11 April 2018

Papua New Guinea’s government says it will sue Australian mining giant BHP Billiton for alleged environmental damage in the Western Province when the company was operating the country’s largest copper mine in the 1990s.

It’s not the first time legal action has been touted.

In 2004, a massive law suit representing thousands of PNG landowners, was dropped after settlement was reached, which included compensation.

PNG’s Prime Minister Peter O’Neill says the government will also initiate an independent commission of inquiry into the PNG sustainable development program, which has been a subject of a court case in Singapore.

Former PNGSDP Chairman and Opposition member of Parliament Sir Mekere Morauta says Mr O’Neill doesn’t understand the purpose of the project.

Bethanie Harriman has the story: Listen Here 

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Commission Of Inquiry Into OK Tedi

The Ok Tedi river was destroyed by Australian miner BHP

A COMMISSION of inquiry into the OK Tedi issue, the environment damage and the establishment of the PNG Sustainable Development Program will be set up.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill announced this in Parliament yesterday.

“Papua New Guineans deserve to know the truth, not just colouring of the truth so that it suits somebody’s interest, they deserve to know the truth and that’s why I have decided to establish a commission of inquiry,” he said.

Mr O’Neill said he would get an independent person, possibly an Australian judge, to carry out the investigation.

He also said the State had also engaged the biggest environmental law firm in Australia, Slater and Gordon, to review the case that was done by Rex Dagi so that the PNG Government itself takes out the court case against BHP.

“We have to sue this company for the substantial environmental damage they have caused to our people,” he said.

Mr O’Neill was answering questions from South Fly MP Sekie Agisa who, during Question Time, asked the PM what the government and OK Tedi were doing to mitigate the environment damage to Western Province.

Mr O’Neill said the issue about the environmental damage to Western Province has been well publicised, well debated and well documented.

“It is certainly a sad story which successive governments had no due care for the welfare of their own people and protected the interest of the big mining giants and was given protection in fact by legislations passed by this parliament,” he said.

He said the saga is continuing with the PNG Sustainable Development Program that was established as part of that compensation program by the then Morauta Government while giving indemnity and legislative protection to BHP.

“BHP walked away unchallenged for their responsibilities that they had to the people of Western Province on the massive environmental damage they have conducted while they were managing OK Tedi, that is a proven fact.

“I know that our people have now taken over the mine and I know there are certain improvements in the way they manage their waste in OK Tedi, but I feel that this is a question that still lingers in the mindset of our people,” he said.

He said PNGSDP is now subject to a court case in Singapore between the State and the directors of PNGSDP.

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Miners report some infrastructure damage after Papua quake

Landslide and damage to a road near the Ok Tedi mine. Jerome Kay/Handout via REUTERS

Melanie Burton and Sonali Paul | Reuters | February 27, 2018

Miners in northwest Papua New Guinea reported some damage to infrastructure following a powerful magnitude 7.5 earthquake that hit on Monday, as projects in the resource-rich region assess the impact on their operations.

Barrick Gold Corp said a power station that supplies its Porgera gold mine had been damaged, while Ok Tedi Mining Ltd said a landslip had blocked a road and damaged pipelines to its copper and gold mine in the Star Mountains.

The PNG government said it had sent disaster assessment teams to the rugged Southern Highlands about 560 km (350 miles) northwest of the capital, Port Moresby, following the quake early on Monday and a series of aftershocks.

No casualties have been confirmed.

“It’s premature to comment on what the impact to Porgera may be as those assessments remain underway. ‎The mine does have limited back up power generation available on site,” Barrick Gold spokesman Andy Lloyd said in emailed comments.

Electricity from the power station is mainly used by the processing plant at Porgera. The mining fleet uses diesel. Porgera is co-owned by China’s Zijin Mining Group.

State-owned Ok Tedi said that a landslip blocking roads would likely take several days to clear, but did not comment on any direct impact to operations.

“Maintenance work on the damaged pipes will begin as soon as road access is restored and spare pipes are transported to the location,” it said in a statement.

Early estimates are that it will take at least several days to clear the road to allow for normal traffic flow, with work due to start on Tuesday morning, it said.

Earthquakes are common in Papua New Guinea, which sits on the Pacific’s “Ring of Fire”, a hotspot for seismic activity due to friction between tectonic plates. Part of PNG’s northern coast was devastated in 1998 by a tsunami, generated by a 7.0 quake, which killed about 2,200 people.

ExxonMobil said on Monday it had shut its Hides gas conditioning plant and that it believed administration buildings, living quarters and a mess hall had been damaged.

Gas is processed at Hides and transported along a 700 km (435 miles) line that feeds a liquefied natural gas plant near Port Moresby for shipping.

PNG oil and gas explorer Oil Search said in a statement on Monday it had also shut production in the quake-affected area. 

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ExxonMobil, Barrick Gold and OTML all report damage

Landslide and damage to a road near the Ok Tedi mine township of Tabubil after the earthquake. Jerome Kay/Handout via REUTERS

ExxonMobil shuts LNG plant in Papua New Guinea; reports of casualties

Reuters | 27 February 2018

ExxonMobil Corp has shut its liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant in the wake of a powerful earthquake in Papua New Guinea’s remote highlands region that cut off roads and damaged buildings, with unconfirmed reports of 20 or more deaths.

The global energy giant said communications with nearby communities remain down following the 7.5 magnitude earthquake early on Monday, hampering efforts to assess damage to facilities that feed the PNG LNG plant, the country’s biggest export earner.

“Communications continue to be one of the most significant challenges,” ExxonMobil said in an emailed statement, adding that damage has closed the Komo airfield that serves its gas production and processing operations.

Miners Barrick Gold Corp and Ok Tedi Mining also reported some damage to infrastructure, while the government said it had sent disaster assessment teams to the rugged region about 560 km (350 miles) northwest of the capital, Port Moresby.

Chris McKee, director of PNG’s Department of Mineral Policy and Geohazards Management, said a local official told him that four people had died in the city of Mendi, while local media reports said some 20 to 30 people may have been killed.

The disaster management office said it was verifying reports of deaths, but it could take days to confirm a death toll.

A landslide blocking road accesses from Tabubil to Ok Tedi’s Fubilan Mine pit. Photo: Baundo Mereh/Facebook

LNG SHUTDOWN

The $19 billion PNG LNG project is considered one of the world’s best performing LNG operations, having started exports in 2014 earlier than targeted, despite the challenges of drilling for gas and building a processing plant and pipeline in the remote jungle of PNG.

It has been producing at around 20 percent above its rated capacity of 6.9 million tonnes a year.

ExxonMobil said it had shut the two LNG processing units, or trains, at the plant on the coast near Port Moresby after earlier shutting its Hides gas conditioning plant and Hides production pads in Hela province in the highlands region.

Its partner, Oil Search, also shut oil and gas production in the quake-affected area on Monday.

Gas is processed at Hides and transported along a 700 km (435 miles) line that feeds the PNG LNG plant, whose main customers are in Japan, China and Taiwan.

Traders said the impact on the LNG market would depend on the length of the shutdown, but noted that spot prices have fallen recently as North Asia is coming out of the period of heavy winter gas demand.

“The global LNG market is likely to respond immediately as the buyers need to seek alternative sources, and the extent of the impact would depend on when the plant re-starts operations after the shutdown,” said Beseok Jin, a research analyst at IHS Markit.

INFRASTRUCTURE DAMAGE

Barrick said a power station that supplies its Porgera gold mine had been damaged, while Ok Tedi said a landslip had blocked a road and damaged pipelines to its copper and gold mine in the Star Mountains.

“It’s premature to comment on what the impact to Porgera may be as those assessments remain underway. ‎The mine does have limited back up power generation available on site,” Barrick Gold spokesman Andy Lloyd said in emailed comments.

Electricity from the power station is mainly used by the processing plant at Porgera, which is co-owned by China’s Zijin Mining Group.

State-owned Ok Tedi said on Tuesday it had restarted mining with a small workforce flown in by helicopter, but a restart of its processing mill would be delayed until several pipelines are repaired.

A landslip blocking roads would likely take up to two days to be cleared, at which point mine operations would return to normal, Ok Tedi said by email.

Earthquakes are common in Papua New Guinea, which sits on the Pacific’s “Ring of Fire”, a hotspot for seismic activity due to friction between tectonic plates. Part of PNG’s northern coast was devastated in 1998 by a tsunami, generated by a 7.0 quake, which killed about 2,200 people.

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Landslip Blocks Ok Tedi Access Road

Post Courier | February 27, 2018

A landslip has blocked off the Ok Tedi mine access road following an earthquake that occurred in the early hours of yesterday morning.

Ok Tedi Mining Limited confirmed that the landslip occurred on a section of the Tabubil-Mine Road in Western Province.

The landslip damaged the water and concentrate pipelines at the slip location. Maintenance work on the damaged pipes will begin as soon as road access is restored and spare pipes are transported to the location.

Managing director and chief executive officer Peter Graham said no damages had been reported at the mill and mine or in Tabubil township, however, the nearby Bultem village had lost power and options for restoring power to the village were being evaluated.

Early estimates were that it would take at least several days to clear the road to allow for normal traffic flow. Clearance would start this morning under strict safety provisions. In the meantime a skeleton crew will maintain inspections at the mill and mine, Mr Graham said.

He said the highway between Tabubil and Kiunga had also suffered from a number of smaller landslips and cracks, limiting access to light vehicles only.

Meanwhile, employees who worked the night shift at the mine and mill had been relocated safely back to Tabubil by helicopter, with all employees accounted for.

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