Govt probe into Freeport Indonesia accident unlikely to take months

JAKARTA, June 7 Fri Jun 7, 2013 12:36am EDT

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JAKARTA, June 7 (Reuters) - A government-led investigation into the tunnel collapse that killed 28 people at Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold Inc's copper mine in Indonesia should not take months to complete, the head of the probe said on Friday.

Freeport suspended operations at the Grasberg complex on May 15, a day after a training tunnel, outside the mining area and around 500 metres (yards) from the entrance of the Big Gossan mine, caved in on 38 workers.

"I think (the accident) investigation will be not too long," Ridho Wattimena, who is also head of the mining engineering graduate program at the Bandung Institute of Technology, told Reuters on Friday. "We do not need months to investigate it."

Arizona-based Freeport briefly resumed open-pit mining production on May 28, but after a worker was killed in a separate accident, the government asked the company to suspend operations until its investigation was completed. The probe was forecast to take up to three months.

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