OK TEDI Mining reported a fourth quarter loss of K82 million, an improvement on the previous year, alongside a significant drop in copper and gold production and reports of a fatality at the end of 2014.

Copper and gold production for the fourth quarter was reported at 12.813 tonnes and 41,072 ounces, which is 62 per cent lower for both minerals compared to the corresponding period in 2013.

Ok Tedi said a drop of 25% in mill throughput was a major cause of lower metal production, with sporadic heavy rainfall and processing equipment downtime during the quarter being contributing factors.

Compared to the fourth quarter of 2013, copper grades were 44% lower, gold grades were 37% lower in the fourth quarter on 2014, which impacted metal production.

Ok Tedi said silver production was 116,800 ounces, which was a 31% decrease compared to the corresponding period in 2013, impacted by ore grade.

The company said it had been compelled to target lower grade ore sources from the North Fubilan cutback during the quarter after it had been unable to access the higher grade ore at Centre Pit due to unusually high rainfall.

Export shipments of copper concentrate were reportedly 4% lower compared to the same period in 2013, a small decrease.

The fourth quarter loss of K82 million was favourable compared to a loss of K137 million in the same quarter of the previous year.

Lower shipments and lower metal prices were contributing factors to gross revenue for the quarter 25% lower than the corresponding quarter in 2013.

Ok Tedi reported the average copper price was lower by 10% and the average gold price lower by 7%.

The company advised a comprehensive investigation is being conducted after it reported a fatality on 25 December 2014, when a night shift operator received fatal injuries after losing control of the grader he was operating.

However, the company’s 12 month average total recordable injury frequency rate was a 28% improvement on the previous 12 month period.

Ok Tedi said resource development drilling was ongoing for 2015, with the company continuing to intersect good mineralisation in its various targets.

The company had worked to identify drill testing location targets in the Sulphide Creek and Wellington areas, while fieldwork on the Mianmin EL 2276 was expected to resume in the first quarter of 2015.