OK Tedi Mining Ltd chief executive officer Peter Graham says revenue generated from the mine is serving as a valuable source of liquidity to the local foreign currency market.
Giving an update on production in the past two months after a seven-month stoppage, he told The National that full production resumed at the end of March.
“Ok Tedi Mining Limited resumed production on one of two processing circuits on March 1,” Graham said.
“This followed a suspension of operation which lasted just under seven months due to dry weather.
“Full production resumed at the end of March 2016, when the second processing circuit was bought on line after the successful completion of a major project to replace the mill shell and gearing.
“Since returning to operation, both the mill and mine have performed reliably and this has allowed the completion of a number of export shipments.
“The price received for these shipments, while down from the highs of recent years, is consistent with our forecast.
“The revenue generated from these shipments is denominated in US dollar and this has served as a valuable source of liquidity to the PNG foreign currency market.”
Prime Minter Peter O’Neill had told Parliament that the shortage in forex would ease as Ok Tedi usually brought in USD40 million (K121m) in foreign exchange per month.
He said commodity prices at the international market had picked up gradually to bring enough foreign currency back into the country.
He said the loan arranged with the International Finance Cooperation would provide further relief.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Westpac said the bank was keen to play its role in solving the foreign currency shortage.
“We are currently working with the PNG Central Bank (Bank of PNG), IFC and other stakeholders towards a solution.” The National/ PMW