Indonesia Freeport to cut 75 jobs, won't hit production

JAKARTA, Dec 12 (Reuters) - PT Freeport Indonesia, a unit of Freeport McMoran Copper & Gold Inc FCX.N, said on Friday it will cut 75 jobs in its Jakarta office to reduce costs at a time of falling copper prices.

Freeport has 12,000 employees in Indonesia, most of whom are employed at the giant Grasberg copper mine in Papua. It said its mining operations and production target would not be affected by the cuts.

“In response to the significant decrease in commodity prices and related economic shift in recent months, we have initiated a company-wide cost control program to reduce cost in all areas of our business,” Mindo Pangaribuan, Freeport’s spokesman said.

In addition to the job cuts, hiring for all non-essential positions has been put on hold.

The price of copper MCU3 -- which is used in electronics, electrical cables, and construction -- has fallen more than 60 percent on the London Metal Exchange since hitting a record high of $8,940 a tonne in July.

Last week, the metal hit a 3-½ year low of $2,991 a tonne.

The Grasberg mine, believed to be the world’s third-largest copper reserve, accounts for 40 percent of Freeport’s total copper reserves of 93 billion pounds, according to the company’s website.

Freeport is the world’s largest publicly traded copper miner. (Reporting by Telly Nathalia, writing by Fitri Wulandari, editing by Sara Webb)