It wasn’t quite just another day in the office for UPG’s Peter Thomson when he travelled to Australia’s nearest neighbour to train staff at PNG’s largest mine, Ok Tedi.
Peter, a technical consultant – team lead with UPG who is based in Brisbane, spent a week at the mine, working from the village of Tabubil in Papua New Guinea’s Western Province.
He was tasked with static survey training of a seven-person survey team, helping that team create its own best procedures and practices.
The team is employing Trimble GNSS receivers and TSC3 controllers, and using TBC to process the Static data.
“Static survey provides a baseline for the mines control network. This type of survey is primarily used to create control where no control exists to very high accuracies.
– when it is correct it means the work done from it will also be precise,” Peter said.
“Aside from the actual training, I also shared insight into how other sites around Australia are doing similar work so the Ok Tedi Mine team could take those ideas and look at if they were apt for their site.
“I provided all the information and then they take that and make their own decisions to create site-specific practices and procedures.”
This was Peter’s first time in PNG and he said he had enjoyed not only the remote location, but working with the team, who are a mix of locals and FIFO workers from PNG and Australia.
“It all felt very safe, which is often a concern for people going to PNG, but there were simply no problems,” Peter said.
The Ok Tedi Mine is an open-pit copper and gold mine at the headwaters of the Ok Tedi River that has been in operation since 1981, when it was operated by BHP.
The mine is now operated by Ok Tedi Mining Limited which is majority-owned by the PNG Sustainable Development Program Limited.
The mine accounts for 25.7% of the country’s entire export earnings.