Grasberg Mine's Pipeline to Take 6 Months to Fix - Freeport Indonesia

on November 01 2011 8:19 AM
Grasberg mine
Grasberg mine Reuters

Freeport Indonesia will take a month to fix its main sabotage-hit pipeline to take concentrate from the world's second-biggest copper mine to its port, where there are no stockpiles left for shipping.

No further concentrate was heading from the massive Grasberg mine to its port in the remote Papua region either, the firm said, implying the force majeure that it declared last week on some concentrate sales could be expanded or extended in length.

Freeport said on Tuesday it was evaluating the force majeure, and declined to say which customers had been affected.

Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc briefly halted production at Grasberg in mid-October because of sabotage to the pipeline and said on Tuesday it is still only operating and producing ore at reduced levels.

The U.S. miner has been hit by attacks on equipment and staff and blockades to its food and fuel supply routes during a six-week strike by mine workers seeking better pay and conditions, setting back its efforts to maintain some output using contract workers.

Freeport has initiated repairs to the damaged pipelines but has not been able to gain full access to the affected areas of the pipelines because of the road blockades by striking workers, said Freeport spokesman Ramdani Sirait.

Grasberg holds more gold and copper reserves than any other mine and also produces silver. The supply disruption has been supportive for copper prices , which have been under strong pressure due to concerns over the global economy.

 

 

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