PNG’S OK TEDI MINE REVENUES UP 40 PERCENT IN 2006

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PNG’S OK TEDI MINE REVENUES UP 40 PERCENT IN 2006

By Bibian Barreng

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, July 3) - Ok Tedi Mining Ltd (OTML) posted sales revenue of PGK4.643 billion last year [US$1.598 billion], up 40 percent or PGK1.335 billion [US$459.7 million], from the previous year’s figure of K3.308 billion [US$1.139 billion].

The revenue increase was attributed to the record copper price that offset a slight drop in production.

In a summary of last year's results, OTML's total gold production was 17.1 tons (550,099 ounces), a drop of 4 percent from the 2005 production of only 574,694 ounces.

Despite the drop, OTML still remained at the top of the top three local gold producers.

The concentrated copper production also saw a drop from 711,215 tons in 2005 to 622,158 tons last year, with copper prices at an average price for 2006 at a high of US$3.24 compared to that of 2005's only US$1.82.

OTML paid a record dividend of PGK1.8 billion, while royalty payments was up 44 percent from the previous year with Fly River provincial government and mine area landowners each receiving PGK45 million.

The mine last year celebrated its 25 years of operation with its outgoing managing director Keith Faulkner handing over the ropes to his successor Allan Breen.

"In 2006, Ok Tedi Mining Ltd turned in its best performance in its 25-year history, lifted record prices for the metals contained in the mineral concentrate that we produce and sell on the world market," Mr. Faulkner said.

The summary included other compensation and benefits paid during the year that included land lease agreements, trusts and the community mine continuation agreement giving a total package of PGK31 million.

The project on the mine waste and tailings project received the approval from the government late last year.

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