The Ok Tedi mine in Papua New Guinea is losing $5.5m every day after a pyrite concentrate waste pipeline rupture halted production.
Four localised ruptures occurred in a small section of the pipeline that connects a Tailings Processing Plant and under water storage pits at Bage last month.
The raptures caused 200m² of pyrite concentrate to spill from the pipeline at the gold and copper mine.
Pyrite is a mineral containing iron and sulphur, which can harm the environment as it produces an acid if exposed to air and water.
Ok Tedi has insisted that tests show no evidence of acidification in creeks and streams.
Papua New Guinea’s mining minister said the mine would be allowed to process low-sulphur ore while a new tailings dam was built, after which, the production can resume and pyrite concentrate will be stored in the dam while the ruptured pipeline is repaired.