The Ok Tedi operations resumed safely on the 1st of April after a two-week suspension
following a surge in COVID-19 cases at the company’s sites.
The suspension was necessary to minimise the spread of the virus and to conduct mass
testing of the workforce in order to allow the negative cases to return to work and to manage
the positive cases.
A total of 10,000 COVID-19 PCR swab samples were collected during the suspension period.
This is in addition to more than 21,000 samples collected since the beginning of the year.
OTML provides regular updates of our testing results to the National Control Centre.
The majority of samples collected during the suspension period were sent to a laboratory in
Australia for testing and analysis and we continue to use the Australian laboratory to validate
samples analysed onsite. Personnel who enter through OTML’s Entry Point Centre in Port
Moresby prior to coming to site are tested through a medical laboratory in Port Moresby
sanctioned by the National Pandemic Controller.
For the resumption of operations, the Company has tightened its COVID-19 control measures
to prevent another surge in positive cases. These measures include all personnel entering
designated Entry Point Centres for a 10-day quarantine period and undergoing two COVID19 tests with negative results prior to returning to site or resuming work.
Strict enforcement of personal preventive measures include the use of face masks at all times,
maintaining social distancing and use of handwashing and sanitising stations set up across
the operations. Other measures include regular disinfection in all locations and the restriction
of movement within camps and housing areas of the township to prevent any transmission of
These measures will remain in place until the vaccination roll-out is implemented when
supplies of the vaccines become available.
The Company is working closely with the PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum to address
the FIFO the travel ban imposed by the Australian Government.
OTML currently has 33 personnel in quarantine in Brisbane with most expected to be released
The suspension resulted in a loss in revenue of PGK210 million which directly impacted
foreign currency inflows into PNG.
Picture caption: The Company has an ongoing disinfection program for all its operation sites.