Stockpiling of concentrates at Ok Tedi Mine
STATEMENT: Stockpiling of concentrates at Ok Tedi mine
I rise to make a formal response to a series of questions on Tuesday by the Honorable Member for Chuave Mr Wera Mori relating to the Ok Tedi Mine and alleged stockpiling of concentrates at the mine.
Stockpiling of concentrates at the Ok Tedi Mine’s Kiunga facility, or on vessels in the Port Moresby Harbour, are normal part of the export cycle that takes place every year.
The mine management has confirmed that the inventory stockpiled at its Kiunga facility on Tuesday morning totaled 11,645 wet metric tones of concentrate.
The inventory stockpiled ready for export on the vessel Kumul Arrow anchored in the Port Moresby Harbour that morning was 17,147 wet metric tones.
The inventory on the Mine’s feeder vessels in transit to the Kumul Arrow as of 6:00am that morning was 6,771 metric tones.
Exports this month already total 10,800 wet metric tones currently in transit to Onsao, Korea.
The next export vessel for an export of 21,600 wet metric tonnes is due into Port Moresby Harbour on Sunday (November 24, 2013).
The third export vessel for an export of 8,200 wet metric tonnes is due into the Harbour on Tuesday (November 26, 2013).
So these are the normal stockpiling of concentrates that has occurred recently as part of the mine’s export cycle.
In regards to the chemical composition of the copper concentrate, yes we do currently have elevated fluorine levels due primarily to restrictions on ore blending/feeding to the mill processing units as a result of the primary crusher undergoing major repairs.
The use of fluorine is a common issue that OTML has to continually deal with and the mine deals with it effectively.
I can confirm that a number of events have adversely affected the operational performance of the mine this year;
• A major failure of one of the two processing mill circuits put that mill out of production for two months while it was repaired;
• Flooding at the mine due to extremely high rainfall events impacted mining for two (2) and a half months;
• The crusher at the mine is currently under a major repair and that is having a significant effect on production;
• The fall in metal prices this year has impacted revenue also. The mine budgeted for copper at US$3.50/lb whereas the current price is US$3;
• Gold was budgeted at US$1,650/oz. The price is currently US1,300/oz. Silver was budgeted at US$32/oz. The price has fallen to US$22.00/oz; In mining terms, these are significant fall in prices that is affecting revenue for the mine, and the national government.
• The recent cyclone that devastated Philippines has impacted the Mine’s largest customers PASAR. Their operations have been seriously damaged and they are likely to be out of business for 3 or 4 months. We have one vessel at anchor in their harbor which is unable to unload as a result of the cyclone devastation. OTML is working with PASAR to find a solution.
There are other minor issues also, but OTML is accustomed to trials and tribulations and the mine simply gets on with addressing these issues effectively as they arise.
The mine is an important business and asset to the people of Western Province and the country, and the National Government will continue to support it in every way we can.