Ok Tedi Mine

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Description:
The Ok Tedi Mine is located near the headwaters of the Ok Tedi River, in the Star Mountains Rural LLG of the North Fly District of the Western Province of Papua New Guinea.

The mine is operated by Ok Tedi Mining Limited (OTML) which is majority owned by the PNG Sustainable Development Program Limited (PNGSDPL). Prior to 2002, it was majority owned by BHP Billiton—the largest mining company in the world since a merger in 2001.

Located in a remote area of PNG, above on Mount Fubilan, in a region of high rainfall and frequent earthquakes, mine development posed serious challenges. The town of Tabubil was built to serve the mining operation.

History

Before mining operations Mount Fubilan was a copper mountain with a gold cap.

Exploratory drilling in the area began in the 1970s, and was run by the Kennecott Copper Corporation.

In the early 80s, BHP (now BHP Billiton) secured a mining lease and in 1984, began exploiting a gold cap on the mountain using cyanide extraction procedures. After the gold deposit was depleted, a much larger copper deposit was targeted underneath. At that time, this deposit was believed to be the largest copper deposit in the world. BHP entered into a partnership with the Papua New Guinea government and a Canadian company, Inmet Mining Corporation, to mine the copper deposit, although BHP maintained a majority share in the mine.

Around 20 years after the beginning of mining operations, majority share ownership...
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