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Planned Freeport Indonesia strike canceled

Keywords: Tags  PT Freeport Indonesia, Grasberg Mine, copper, gold, accident, strike, Daisy Primayanti, Oyu Tolgoi Rio Tinto

SINGAPORE — Union workers at PT Freeport Indonesia’s operations in Mimika, where the company’s Grasberg Mine is located, have canceled a planned strike that had been expected to start June 14.

"We had extensive discussions with union leaders and came to an understanding that their members will return to maintenance work at the mine in Mimika," company spokeswoman Daisy Primayanti told AMM sister publication Metal Bulletin.

Grasberg Mine operations have been suspended since a May 14 tunnel collapse killed 28 people (, May 14), impacting production of about 3 million pounds of copper and 3,000 ounces of gold per day. According to local media reports, five senior Indonesian employees at Grasberg have been suspended in the wake of the cave-in.

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc.’s Jakarta-based Indonesian subsidiary declared force majeure on concentrate shipments following the accident (, June 12). Market participants are closely watching Grasberg, as well as the postponement of the first copper exports from London-based Rio Tinto Plc’s Oyu Tolgoi project in Mongolia (, June 13), to see how the copper concentrates market will be affected.

London-based BHP Billiton Plc recently agreed on treatment and refining charges of $72 per dry tonne (7.2 cents per pound) with a Japanese smelter, conceding $2 per dry tonne (0.2 cent per pound) over the terms it agreed at the start of the year. However, the terms are better than prevailing spot terms of as much as $80 per dry tonne (8 cents per pound) seen before the Grasberg outage.

A version of this article was first published by AMM sister publication Metal Bulletin.

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