OK Tedi Mining Limited (OTML) is celebrating its 30th consecutive year of copper concentrate shipments to its Japanese smelter customers.

Since 1987 to the end of 2016, a total of 7.3 million tonnes of copper concentrate has been sold in direct sales contracts to Japanese smelter companies. To celebrate this milestone, a delegation from Japan including six direct OTML customers, two buyers’ agents, four Japanese trading companies and resource project investors, and two Japanese shipping companies were invited to tour Ok Tedi mine operations in late March.

OTML managing director and CEO Peter Graham said it was an honour to meet with the mine’s Japanese customer representatives which showed the long standing trust and respect that OTML has established with its Japanese customers.

“I want to thank you all for making the time to visit PNG and the Ok Tedi operations,” Mr Graham said.

“What has been established between OTML and you as our customers is special and there are not too many companies that have such a long standing relationship that we share. You assisted us during the suspension of the operation during the dry weather event and after we resumed operation in March 2016.

“It was a particularly challenging time but your understanding had allowed OTML to quickly get back into normal operations. This is our way of showing our appreciation and also to reciprocate the hospitality you showed us when our senior Managers visited your operations” Mr Graham said.

Prior to travelling to site the delegations were taken on a tour of Port Moresby with visits to the PNG National Parliament and the Natures Park and a boat cruise to take a closer look at the Silo vessel anchored in the harbour.

During the site visit the following day the delegates were taken on a guided tour of OTML’s Kiunga plant to get a better understanding of the copper concentrate processing, storage and shipment operations.

They were also given a tour of the mine and the processing plant operations to understand the production process, the different stages of production and challenges involved to preparing the product to meet the standards and requirements of the customers.

In his speech during a dinner with the OTML management in Tabubil, the general manager of Sumitomo Metal Mining Co., Ltd, Toru Hugo,spoke on behalf of the Japanese delegation.

“We’d like to express our deepest gratitude to everyone at the Ok Tedi mine for the invitation to come to Ok Tedi mine and Papua New Guinea. We seldom have the opportunity to visit Papua New Guinea for a personal tour, so we were really looking forward to visiting the Ok Tedi Mine.

“Ok Tedi has made a big contribution to PNG and society. We consider OTML a typical success model of a mine owned by the government,” he said.

“We Japanese smelters; we strongly hope to procure the Ok Tedi copper concentrate for a long time. We sincerely wish to continue this reliable relationship between OTML and Japanese smelters,” Mr Hugo stated in his closing remarks.