LIFE OF PNG’S OK TEDI MINE MAY BE EXTENDED

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LIFE OF PNG’S OK TEDI MINE MAY BE EXTENDED High prices for gold, copper push new end date to 2025

By Jemima Garrett

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, March 4, 2012) – The life of Papua New Guinea's giant Ok Tedi gold and copper mine looks set to be extended again.

Ok Tedi Limited is working on a detailed mine extension plan, that must be put to government for approval, before mining can extend beyond 2013.

The initial plan was to mining to cease in 2022 but Managing Director, Nigel Parker, says with gold and copper prices high that date has now been pushed out to 2025.

More exploration on the pit floor is planned.

Mr. Parker says the company is on track for approval of the mine extension plan in September.

[PIR editor’s note: Parker also says that the mine is "an important element of the Papua New Guinea economy, and, of course, until the LNG project comes into full fruition and other major mines that are in train come in, Ok Tedi will continue to be a major contributor to the PNG economy." In addition to continued mining operations, a proposed 500 million ton waste dump for rock and debris material is being planned.]

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