PNG GOLD MINE TO ADDRESS ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Feb. 28) – With a PGK3.3 billion [US$1.1 billion] turnover last year and another bumper year in the making, gold miner Ok Tedi Mine Ltd. expects to remain a major contributor to the nation’s development as it has been for the past 25 years.

Launching OTML’s 25th anniversary logo in Tabubil this week, managing director Keith Faulkner, made a curious observation about the logo which highlights the slogan "Our Project, Our Challenge".

Mr Faulkner said: "Ok Tedi mine em i bikpela blessing bilong Papua New Guinea, na Ok Tedi mine em i bikpela problem bilong Papua New Guinea, na challenge bilong yumi olgeta em long wok wantaim long painim kisim solution."

(While Ok Tedi mine is a big blessing to Papua New Guinea, it is also a big problem to the country’s ecology ... the challenge is to find the solution together.)

"The mine is riding on a wave of record gold and copper prices, and this means it delivered record profits to PNG last year," Faulklner said."But, it is also PNG’s challenge, because of the environmental impact the project has on the Ok Tedi-Fly River system. Since a part of the benefits generated by the mine are for the country and the people, it is important for the National Government, the Fly River provincial government, the communities of the Ok Tedi-Fly River system and OTML to work together to meet the challenge.

"The Act of National Parliament that governs our mining and environmental activities, and our agreements with impacted communities, present a sound legal framework within which to work towards solving the problems," Mr Faulkner said. "It is our project and it is our challenge to find the best answers to the problems so that Ok Tedi can remain a blessing for the country for many years to come."

OTML was incorporated in PNG on Feb 23, 1981.

March 1, 2006

The National: www.thenational.com.pg/

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