Ok Tedi Mining Limited (OTML) has suspended its operations for 14-days after one of its employees tested positive to COVID-19.
The employee is one of seven cases of COVID-19 reported in Kiunga.
The employee contacted the virus from a close contact of the person who traveled from Port Moresby to Kiunga on the 31st of July on a commercial flight.
In a statement released today, OTML will use the two-weeks to implement contact tracing, testing, and isolation procedures to ensure the virus does not spread and operations will resume.
OTML Managing Director/CEO Musje Werror says the workforce and the township of Tabubil have responded positively to the additional control measures and he is hopeful OTML’s decision to suspend operations would limit the potential impact of COVID-19.
Werror is also confident that the Mine will be able to withstand the financial impact of the 14-days lockdown which is estimated to be in the order of K100 Million.
The lockdown is likely to reduce US dollar receipts by approximately $40M. It will also reduce copper and gold production by approximately 4Kt and 12Koz respectively.
Despite these, Werror says the mine has been performing strongly this year and therefore in a healthy cash and liquidity position.
He added operations will resume when OTML is confident its workforce is safe.
“At this stage, we are hopeful resumption of operations will occur at the conclusion of 14-day lockdown and quarantine period,” adds Werror.