Freeport suspends Indonesian mine after worker deaths
Operations at a US-owned mine in Indonesia have been suspended after the government ordered a halt to production following a tunnel collapse which killed 28 workers.
The deaths followed a collapse on 14 May at Freeport’s Grasberg mine in the eastern province of Papua.
Production could be suspended for up to three months.
The Grasberg mine is one of the biggest copper and gold reserves in the world, producing 220,000 tonnes of ore a day.
A spokesperson for Freeport in Indonesia, Daisy Primayanti, said the company had suspended both its underground and open mine pit operation late last week after it received notification from the government.
She said the company was still assessing the impact of the halt on production and did not provide figures on the loss of output.
“We have been informed that the process will take a maximum of three months, but obviously our hope is to resume operation earlier.”
She added that maintenance work was still continuing at the mine which employs about 24,000 people.
Source: Radio New Zealand International
Indonesian government tells Freeport to suspend Papua mine production
The Grasberg mine in Indonesia’s Papua province has been ordered to suspend production by the government after reopening its operations last week.
Freeport McMoRan’s President in Indonesia Rozik Soetjipto was defiant last week, saying it was a matter for the company to decide.
The All Indonesian Workers Union says workers will not return until Freeport suspends officials believed to be responsible for a tunnel collapse last month, in which 28 workers were killed.
A truck driver was killed on Friday in a separate incident.
An employee and member of the union Darmawan Puteranto says he supports the Government’s strong stance and says more should be done to hold the company to account.
Mine worker Darmawan Puteranto:
“It’s very very extreme, because 28 persons dying, it’s not a small number, it’s a big number and with the Indonesian Government, the sanctions should be very hard.”