The origin of the human race in Watut mythology
An Old Man’s Death

$3.3M a day revenue loss as landslip blocks Ok Tedi access


A major landslip in the Western Province last Wednesday, which cut off road access between Tabubil (pictured) and the copper mine, is costing Ok Tedi Mining $3.3 million a day in lost revenue.

While no deaths or injuries were reported, people living in settlements in the vicinity of the slip zone have been advised to vacate their homes.

A number of villages are cut off and arrangements have been made to airlift food supplies if road access is not restored in the next few days.

The landslide was triggered by a long period of above average rainfall. In June, Tabubil received 1,156 mm of rain – much higher than the average of 700mm. Landslips are a common occurrence in the area due to the high rainfall and an unstable environment.

Work to restore road access has yet to commence due to further slips in the last 24 hours as a result of continuous rain.

Mine operations have shut down and 462 workers were airlifted by helicopter from the mine to Tabubil on Thursday.  A small crew remains at the mine.

The slip has caused the copper concentrate pipeline to be dislodged from its footings but it remains intact.

The main water pipeline that feeds Tabubil was damaged, affecting supply to the town. Company engineers are working to restore the water supply from alternate sources and residents have been advised to restrict water use.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Warren Dutton

Albert - Since Sir Mekere Morauta established PNGSDPL to hold BHP's former shareholding in OTML for the benefit of the people of the Western Province and all of PNG, these PNG Institutions (i.e., OTML and PNGSDPL) have invested hugely in public infrastructure, e.g. the Highlands Highway, and a multitude of various social projects throughout the whole country as well as the Western Province.

I could be one of the most informed critics of both institution's inefficiencies and ineffectiveness in the actual implementation of some of their infrastructure projects, but they have been beyond question more well intentioned and careful in their operations than any government, national or provincial, and most other mining, oil and gas exploration and development companies that I have observed in the past 50 odd years in PNG.

It is inconceivable that 60 MPs, including four from the Western Province, could have wilfully attempted to destroy these two institutions.

Unless, of course, you recall that they were quite prepared to attempt to destroy the PNG University of Technology in Lae!

Albert Schram

Maybe mining companies should invest more in public infrastructure.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)