TORONTO – Freeport McMoRan Inc said Thursday that mining and milling rates at its Grasberg mine in Papua, Indonesia have been affected by an extended strike, and a “large number” of approximately 4,000 absentee workers were deemed to have resigned.
Escalating labor tension is a further disruption for Freeport, entangled in a lengthy dispute with Indonesia over rights to the giant mine, which has cost both sides hundreds of millions of dollars. Arizona-based Freeport is now trying to mitigate the impact of workforce issues on mining and milling rates, which it would not quantify, by re-allocating resources, training additional workers and supplementing its mill throughput with available stockpiles, spokesman Eric Kinneberg said.
Benchmark copper prices hit three-week highs Thursday as worries about prolonged disruptions at Grasberg triggered short-covering, ahead of a long holiday weekend in Europe and top consumer China. Freeport Indonesia union industrial relations officer, Tri Puspital, told Reuters on Saturday that the strike had halved Grasberg’s output. Continue Reading →