Reposted from Radio Australia
Directors of Papua New Guinea’s Ok Tedi Mining Limited say they are interested in buying a stake in Xstrata Copper’s $USD 5.3 billion Frieda River project.
With production due to start winding down at the Ok Tedi mine in the next few years, the company bearing its name is looking for new opportunities.
Managing Director, Nigel Parker, says Ok Tedi’s major shareholder, PNG Sustainable Development Program Limited, is very interested in the Frieda River project.
Since the Canadian company, Inmet Mining Corporation, sold out at the beginning of last year, Ok Tedi has been 100 per cent owned for the benefit of Papua New Guineans.
PNG’s Government has a 37 per cent stake in Ok Tedi, with PNG Sustainable Development Program Limited owning the rest.
Mr Parker says he would like to make a move as soon as possible but that depends on shareholder commitment.
“This is an extraordinarily valuable asset, we cannot let this asset die, otherwise the Papua New Guinean nation loses out,” Mr Parker told Radio Australia.
Talks with PNG’s Government are expected to start soon.
The Frieda River deposit is one of the largest undeveloped gold and copper deposits in the Asia Pacific.