PNG OK Tedi Mine spent K103 million on Covid-19

 THE  Papua New Guinea Government owned OK Tedi Mining Ltd (OTML)  has spent about K103.9 million on Coronavirus (Covid-19) associated costs.

Chief executive officer and managing director Musje Werror said the costs were especially for airlines and hotel quarantines.

“The cost of managing Covid and the associated protocols has also been significant, with circa US$30 million (K103.96 million) spent this year,” Werror told the recent PNG Mining and Petroleum conference.

“A large share of this cost has gone to airlines and to hotels in Port Moresby where we had established our entry point centres.

“To minimise the impact to production, we introduced a fourth panel and recruited an additional 800 employees contributing to an increase in labour costs.

“Our employees are now working an even time roster of four weeks on and four weeks off.

“This year has been a particularly challenging one for OTML for two reasons. The first relates to a fire in the processing facility at the end of last year impacting one of the two processing circuits for the entire month of January.

“This reduced annual production by approximately 5 per cent with the cost of repairs around K20million.

“The second and main issue has been the impact of Covid due to the suspension of operations and the significant impact of ongoing labour shortages.

“Covid and the fire have contributed to below budget production and revenue for the year.

“Despite the setbacks, we have benefitted from strengthening metal prices.

“The higher than budget prices have cushioned the impact on this year’s revenue.

“This in turn is expected to enable a final dividend to be declared this month to supplement the K150million interim dividend paid in September to shareholders.”

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