BUSINESS

Freeport Shipments Continue Amid Suspension

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The Freeport Mine. (Source: freewestpapua.org)

Freeport-McMoRan Inc. said copper concentrate shipments from its Grasberg mine in Indonesia, the world’s third-largest, are continuing amid a suspension of open-pit operations following a trucking accident.

The Freeport Mine. (Source: freewestpapua.org)
The Freeport Mine. (Source: freewestpapua.org)

Freeport halted work after the accident that killed four workers September 27, 2014 it said in a statement dated September 29, 2014. The government has asked Freeport’s local unit to stop work at the section for a week, Investor Daily Indonesia reported on Tuesday, citing R. Sukhyar, the director general of coal and minerals at the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry.

The workers at the mine in Papua province were killed after a light vehicle collided with a truck. It is the second accident this month after a mine operator died in a rockfall Sept. 12. The world’s largest publicly traded copper producer halted operations at Grasberg for about one month in May 2013 after a tunnel collapse killed 28 workers.

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The incident is not affecting output because the underground mine is still operational, the Investor Daily reported. Daisy Primayanti, a spokeswoman at Freeport Indonesia, in an e-mail reply said the company will provide an update on Tuesday.

The Grasberg minerals district includes both open-pit and underground mines, according to the company’s website.

Freeport Indonesia is working closely with a mine inspector from the energy ministry investigating the incident and full operations will only resume upon completion of “internal socialization” of the accidents to all employees, it said in e-mailed statement on September 28, 2014.

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The Grasberg area produced metal sales of 885 million pounds of copper and 1.1 million ounces of gold in 2013, Freeport said in its annual report. It was the third-largest copper mine by capacity as of 2012, according to Bloomberg Intelligence data. BHP Billiton Ltd.’s Escondida and Codelco’s Codelco Norte operation, both in Chile, were the largest. (The Jakarta Post)

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