THE Ok Tedi mine will lay off 200 employees when it resumes operation next month, according to managing director and chief executive officer Peter Graham.
He told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat programme yesterday that commodity prices continued to drop which had forced the company to reduce the number of its employees.
“During the temporary suspension of operations (since August 22), we’ve had about 250 to about 300 of our employees on site at any one time and kept rotating them to complete this maintenance work during this period,” he said.
“So we’ve had a continuing turnover of people that try and share the available amount of work among the workforce.
“When the people (employees) do come back, there will be a reduction in the number of employees and that has already been processed.
“We’ve come down to about 200 employees.
“And we all will move to a fly-in fly-out operation predominantly versus a mix of fly-in fly-out/residential previously.”
He said as of yesterday, “we start to see the first group of people returning and we will make a comprehensive induction to make sure everyone remembers everything they need to know about this skills-training and safety-orientation over the next course of three or four weeks”.
He said the reduction in the number of employees would have happened anyway.
“With copper prices where they are, we simply had to address our unit costs like every other producer,” around the world.”