How Ok Tedi is easing PNG forex crisis

SINCE Ok Tedi mine returned to production at the end of March, the operation is serving as a valuable source of liquidity to the local foreign currency market.
How Ok Tedi is easing PNG forex crisis How Ok Tedi is easing PNG forex crisis How Ok Tedi is easing PNG forex crisis How Ok Tedi is easing PNG forex crisis How Ok Tedi is easing PNG forex crisis

Before the crippling drought in Papua New Guinea forced a seven-month closure of the copper-gold-silver mine in Western Province, it contributed about K121 million ($US40 million) in foreign exchange every month.

Resumption of these revenues is now taking place, as OK Tedi Mining Ltd chief executive officer Peter Graham told The National newspaper.

Graham said full production began at the end of March, when the second processing circuit was brought on line after the mill shell and gearing had been replaced.

"Since returning to operation, both the mill and mine have performed reliably and this has allowed the completion of a number of export shipments.

"The price received for these shipments, while down from the highs of recent years, is consistent with our forecast. The revenue generated from these shipments is denominated in US dollars and this has served as a valuable source of liquidity to the PNG foreign currency market."

Prime Minister Peter O'Neill said the forex situation in PNG would ease with the resumption of work at Ok Tedi.

O'Neill said commodity prices at the international market had picked up gradually to bring enough foreign currency back into the country.

He said the loan arranged with the World Bank's International Finance Cooperation would provide further relief.

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