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Acid Rock Drainage Management at the Ok Tedi Mine, Papua New Guinea

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  • This paper describes measures taken by Ok Tedi Mining Limited (OTML) to minimise the risk of acid rock drainage (ARD) resulting from mining operations at its Mt Fubilan porphyry copper-gold mine in the remote Star Mountains of Papua New Guinea. The risk of acid generation and metal leaching as a result of oxidation of these sulfidic deposits has long been recognised by OTML. In 1998, OTML instigated the ARD Management Program to fully evaluate these risks and to formulate, if necessary, trial and implement appropriate management strategies. In implementing the ARD Management Program, OTML has adopted a risk management approach consisting of five stages: 1. risk identification, 2. risk analysis, 3. risk assessment, 4. risk treatment, and 5. review and monitor. Significant progress has been made in relation to risk identification, analysis and assessment. The work currently underway to put in place a comprehensive risk treatment and review process will ultimately determine the success or otherwise of this approach.

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