JAKARTA, July 4 Open-pit mining at Freeport
McMoRan Copper and Gold's Indonesian unit, the world's
second-largest copper mine, is now running at full capacity
after a prolonged closure due to an accident at the site, the
firm said on Thursday.
Freeport halted production at the huge Grasberg mine in
remote West Papua on May 15, a day after a training area in a
tunnel caved in, killing 28 people.
Late last month, the Arizona-based company said open-pit
production had been ramped up to 60 percent capacity, just days
after receiving approval from the Indonesian government to
resume some mining activities.
"Yes it is," Freeport Indonesia President Director Rozik
Soetjipto said by telephone, when asked whether open-pit mining
was running at full capacity.
The open-pit mine normally produces between 140,000 tonnes
and 150,000 tonnes of copper ore per day, while output from the
underground operations is 80,000 tonnes. Freeport was forced to
declare force majeure on shipments after the accident.
Underground mining was yet to resume, Soetjipto added,
The company has previously said that it is working closely
with the government investigation team and mine inspectors with
a view to eventually resuming underground operations.
Earlier this week, a member of the government team
negotiating with Freeport on its mining contract, said the
accident should not delay the talks.
Benchmark three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange
traded at $6,961 a tonne on Thursday, or $454 lower than
the day before the accident.