Papua New Guinea’s Ok Tedi Mine May Halt Work Due to Drought

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Blame the weather… “The Ok Tedi mine, one of Papua New Guinea’s largest operating copper mines, is two weeks away from temporarily shutting down due to a drought that has brought river transport to a halt and cut off fuel supplies, a company official said on Tuesday,” reports Reuters.

“The mine, which produces about 150,000 tonnes of copper in concentrate a year, ships the material by a pipeline and barges more than 1,000 km (600 miles) to silo vessels in the Gulf of Papua, before it is loaded on to freighters.”

“Dry conditions have caused problems to shipping from Ok Tedi a number of times in the past.”

“‘We have maybe 14 days before halting production,’ Nigel Parker, managing director of Ok Tedi Pty Ltd, told Reuters. ‘We’ve already slowed down.'”

In metal price news for copper…

The cash price of Japanese copper saw a 2.4 percent drop on Monday, January 27, making it the biggest mover of the day. The price of US copper producer grade 110 fell 0.5 percent. The price of US copper producer grade 122 declined 0.5 percent. The price of US copper producer grade 102 weakened by 0.5 percent.

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Chinese copper prices were mixed for the day. The price of Chinese copper bar rose 0.4 percent after a two-day drop. The cash price of Chinese copper is back up, rising by 0.4 percent on Monday to close. Following a 0.4 percent rise yesterday, the price of Chinese copper wire closed. The price of Chinese bright copper scrap held steady.

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The 3-month price of copper saw a 0.7 percent decline on the LME to $7,207 per metric ton. The cash price of primary copper weakened by 0.6 percent on the LME, settling at $7,240 per metric ton.