Ok Tedi Mining has begun rolling out vaccines to its workforce, following the surge in COVID-19 cases the company suffered in March.
The miner has delivered the first batch of 1000 AstraZenica doses for its workforce in Papua New Guinea (PNG)
In March, the company halted its copper-gold-silver mine operations in PNG due to a surge in cases across the country.
This was preceded by Ok Tedi’s suspension of international charter flights to Cairns in March, after five international mine workers tested positive to COVID-19 while in the city’s hotel quarantine.
Ok Tedi managing director and chief executive officer Musje Werror welcomed the company’s compliance with the vaccine.
“The support we have received from everyone who made the decision to keep themselves,
their families, colleagues and our operations safe from COVID-19 by getting their first dose of vaccine during the launch was very encouraging.” he said.
“However, there is still a long way to go to achieve herd immunity so that we can return to
some level of normality.”
A total of 213 people were vaccinated at the start of the rollout, which commenced on May 21.
Mining operations at the company’s namesake Ok Tedi Mine have been suspended twice due to COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began in March 2020.
Ok Tedi employs 1800 people and produced 4.83 million ounces of copper, 14.8 million ounces of gold and 32.7 million ounces of silver from 1984 to 2018.
Ok Tedi’s workers can voluntarily decide to be vaccinated.