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Ok Tedi chairman Sir Moi Avei.

The Ok Tedi copper, gold and silver mine in Papua New Guinea has received a three-year mine life extension from 2026 to 2029.

Company chairman Moi Avei attributed the extended mine life to the amount of strategic planning work put into the mine during the past few years.

Despite recent shortfall in production due to COVID-19-related shutdowns, Ok Tedi remains well-positioned to continue mining activities over the extended life of mine.

Ok Tedi has also been able to declare a dividend to the state of Papua New Guinea, which owns 67 per cent of the mine and to the three landowner entities who own 33 per cent of the mine.

This ensures Ok Tedi will continue to create local employment opportunities in the port town of Kiunga which services the mine.

“This extension of mine life is the culmination of a number of years’ detailed strategic planning work and will see the company generate an additional PGK10 billion ($3.9 billion) of revenue to the benefit of all stakeholders,” Avei said.

“We understand during these difficult times that our shareholders are reliant upon returns from Ok Tedi and are pleased that we can continue to provide our support.

“It is fortunate that we are in a position where we can responsibly balance the payment of a dividend with retaining enough reserves to ensure Ok Tedi navigates its way through the current suspension of operations.”

Ok Tedi plans to resume operations at the site on September 14 but will not be at full production levels for “several months”.

Avei said the company will continue to invest in near mine exploration to further extend mine life beyond 2029.