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Jakarta Post

Freeport to restart mining activities at Grasberg open pit on Thursday

  • Amahl S.Azwar

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, May 29, 2013   /  02:09 pm

Mining giant PT Freeport Indonesia, a subsidiary of Arizona-based Freeport-McMoran, is set to resume its Grasberg open pit mining activities, on Thursday, amid ongoing investigations into a tunnel collapse at an underground facility in which 28 workers were killed.

Freeport Indonesia president director Rozik B. Soetjipto said in Jakarta on Wednesday that the company would begin production activities at its open mine site as of Thursday although it would not be producing at its maximum capacity.

"We will restart the production activities slowly. It might take around two or three days, and perhaps a further three days before it can reach its maximum production capacity," he told reporters.

The Grasberg open mine produces 140,000 tons of ore per day on average; but, its mining activities have been temporarily halted following the cave-in at its training facility on May 14.

The facility is located 2.7 kilometers from the Grasberg open mine.

Rozik said Freeport would not restart production activities at the company's Deep Ore Zone (DOZ) mine, an underground block cave -- located a few kilometers from Grasberg -- which has a production capacity of 80,000 tons of ore per day, unless it was permitted by the government.

Last week, the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry's director general for minerals and coal Thamrin Sihite told reporters that the government prohibited Freeport from conducting "any production activity" until the investigations into the incident were concluded.

Rozik said on Tuesday, however, that it was only prohibited for Freeport to restart activities at its underground mining operations, not at its open mine. (ebf)

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