TIMIKA/JAKARTA, Sept 21 (Reuters) - An angry mob smashed windows and set fire to cars at Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc’s Indonesia unit during a prayer service on Friday for a deceased employee, the company said.
“It took place during a joint prayer service to mourn the departure of one of our most senior and respected (workers). He suffered from a lengthy illness and he died last Tuesday,” Daisy Primayanti, Head of Corporate Communications at Freeport Indonesia, said.
“It is quite premature to tell you about it (production) but obviously the incident took place this afternoon in front of our administrative office, which caused damage to our office. No one was injured.”
Freeport Indonesia operates the Grasberg mine, on west Papua island in Southeast Asia, which holds the world’s largest gold reserves and second largest copper mine.
Primayanti said the incident was a tribal dispute, and that police were now at the scene and had restored calm late on Friday.
Worker disputes at Freeport Indonesia are common. Last year, thousands of unionised Freeport workers halted production at Grasberg in the country’s longest ever strike.