In brief: Ok Tedi Mining suspends operations and other business stories


COVID-19 forces Papua New Guinea’s Ok Tedi Mining to shut operations, PNG Biomass Project decision due in later this year and Mendi Airport completion expected in October. Your business news summarised.

The Ok Tedi mine pit. Credit: OTML


Amidst the spike in COVID-19 cases, Ok Tedi Mining Ltd (OTML) suspended operations last Friday for 14 days. The mining company is expected to lose over K210 million, which ‘will directly impact foreign currency inflows’.

In a statement, OTML said that it will implement key measures during the suspension, including repatriation of non-essential staff to their home province and a mass testing COVID program within its workforce. The company also said that during the suspension of operations, ‘there will be some employees who will be required to attend to normal work to maintain essential services, or for care and maintenance.’ (OTML)


Operator of the Lihir gold mine, Newcrest Mining, has announced that it is ‘currently assessing the implications’ of the two-week travel suspension between PNG and Australia.

‘The Lihir operation is currently undergoing a planned maintenance shutdown and is in the process of progressively starting up. There is currently no anticipated interruption to gold production arising as a result of the travel suspension,’ it said in a statement. (Newcrest Mining)


Oil Search’s PNG Biomass project in Morobe Province has been delayed ‘several times due to a time-consuming process with the Government to deliver on their commitments to start the project’. According to The National, long-term leases with landowners have been signed and the land has been cleared for the power plant.

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‘We are ready to commence construction,’ said Project Director Michael Henson. ‘In the next few months, boreholes will be drilled to supply water to the power plant. ‘We just need the Government to deliver on its commitments to move this project forward.’ A final decision is expected during the second half of the year.’ (The National)


Awards Winners in the Nasfund Annual Employer Awards 2020. Credit: Nasfund

Nasfund has announced a two per cent increase in contributions, which totalled K575 million for 2020. That is K11 million more than the level recorded in 2019 (K564 million). Nasfund also reported that it paid K469 million to members, a 22 per cent increase compared to 2019. (The National)


Aaron Underdown, Acting Managing Director and Chief Risk Officer at the National Development Bank, has reminded entrepreneurs that MSMEs need to be registered with the Investment Promotion Authority (IPA) before applying for a loan under the K80 million Government MSME program.

‘Other requirements include a financial literacy certificate, cash flow projection, credit record, and an account with the People’s Micro Bank where applicable and IRC TIN (Taxpayer Identification Number) number,’ said Underdown. (Post-Courier)

Listed companies

Steamships has announced that sales revenue declined 7.6 per cent in 2020 to K540.4 million, down from K585.2 million in 2019, because of the negative effects of COVID-19. The group reported that operating cash flow generation increased to K153.9 million in 2020 from K111.8 million in 2019. Capital expenditure for the year was K68.5 million against K94.2 million in 2019. (PNGX)


CPL Group has reported total revenue of K592 million for the year ended on December 2020, which is up 1.9 per cent from the previous corresponding period. Its profit after tax was K14.66 million, up from K12.15 million the previous year. (PNGX)


The National Airports Corporation (NAC) has announced that the completion of the K40.2 million redevelopment of Mendi Airport is expected to be completed by October.

The redevelopment includes: a new terminal building, strengthening of the runaway for Dash8-400 and ATR0-70 aircraft, an engineer site office, a power house and an NAC Staff House. (LOOP)

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