Freeport Indonesia, union pay talks enter third day
JAKARTA, July 22
JAKARTA, July 22 (Reuters) - Negotiations between Freeport McMoran Copper & Gold and its workers in Indonesia over pay entered the third day on Friday, industry sources said, as the mining giant reported losses of copper and gold after a strike at its massive mine.
Chief executive Richard Adkerson said on Thursday the aggregate impact of production lost during an eight-day strike at the Grasberg mine in Papua province was 35 million pounds of copper and 60,000 ounces of gold.
Adkerson also said the strike, which ended on July 13 and production resumed a day later, led to a temporary suspension of all mining, milling and concentration shipments from the mine.
"The talks are ongoing but the details are not disclosed to the public," said an industry source in Jakarta, who has seen Freeport's notice on the talks.
"The meeting is attended by PT Freeport Indonesia's union team and witnessed by representatives from the company's management team."
A Freeport spokesman in Jakarta did not reply to an email inquiry.
Union leaders started pay talks with the U.S. miner on Wednesday in the Indonesian part of New Guinea, as they push for a doubling of salaries for workers earning $1.50 per hour, saying other Freeport workers around the world get 10 times that.
The company is negotiating with the union on a contract due to be renewed in October.
The New York-listed firm reported a doubling in second-quarter profits, citing soaring metal prices and higher copper sales than expected at its North American mines, but said that costs are creeping up and it expects to sell less copper in the third quarter.
That outlook, combined with a fall in copper price on Thursday and some analysts' concerns with the nagging uncertainties over the labour situation in Indonesia, led to a more than 1 percent drop in Freeport share price.
Gold was steady around $1,589 an ounce on Friday, not far from a record around $1,609 hit on Tuesday. Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange edged down to around $9,650 a tonne. (Reporting by Lewa Pardomuan and Samuel Wanda; Editing by Ramthan Hussain)
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