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Papua New Guinea’s Ok Tedi copper mine resumes operations after COVID-19 shutdown

March 31 (Reuters) – Papua New Guinea’s Ok Tedi Mining Ltd’s copper mining operations will resume from Thursday, the company said on Wednesday, after they were suspended for two weeks due to a surge in COVID-19 cases at the mine site.

Most of the cases detected were asymptomatic and have recovered or have been medically cleared, the company said.

OK Tedi Acting Managing Director and chief executive officer Kedi Ilimbit said the start-up of operations will be gradual, and ramp up to full production is expected to take up to two weeks.

“Our immediate focus now is to safely resume operations and ensure we effectively manage our COVID-19 control measures, ” Ilimbit said.

Previously, the state-owned Ok Tedi had said the shutdown would cost about 210 million kinas ($58.07 million) of revenue, which would directly hit foreign currency inflows as the country battles an economic slump.

However, the company remains upbeat on their full-year profit outlook. ($1 = 3.6166 kinas) (Reporting by Arundhati Dutta in Bengaluru, editing by Louise Heavens)


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