(Recasts, adds context)
By Agustinus Beo Da Costa and Bernadette Christina Munthe
JAKARTA Oct 19 Operations at Freeport-McMoRan
Inc's Grasberg open pit copper mine in Indonesia have
resumed after a one-day stoppage following a fatal incident at
the mine late on Monday.
"Today operations returned to normal," Freeport Indonesia
spokesman Riza Pratama said. "While investigations are running
we will continue production while waiting for further
He was unable to comment on output levels at the mine.
Indonesia's Coal and Minerals Director General Bambang Gatot
denied earlier reports that work could halt for four days while
an investigation was carried out into the death of one worker
and the injury of another in a bulldozer accident.
"That's not right. It stopped temporarily," Gatot told
Reuters. Investigators would later make recommendations to the
company, he said.
Virgo Solossa, an official at Freeport workers union, said
the incident was not expected to result in any worker protests
"This was purely an accident."
Relations between Freeport and worker unions have been
strained in recent years, partly over safety concerns.
Production was brought to a halt in 2015 after workers blocked
access to Grasberg for five days.
Workers went on strike for 10 days late last month in a
dispute over conditions.
Freeport Indonesia, which employs around 24,000 workers,
said in December it aimed to produce 180,000 tonnes to 200,000
tonnes of copper ore per day this year.
A prolonged stoppage at Grasberg could support copper prices
but would also deny the Indonesian government of desperately
needed revenue from one of its biggest taxpayers.
London copper prices have traded flat this year
after three years of declines, as a grinding recovery in global
demand, driven by China, has been met by a flood of new supply.
(Reporting by Agustinus Beo Da Costa, Bernadette Christina
Munthe and Fergus Jensen; Editing by Tom Hogue and Richard