Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold said it is continuing to “seek a mutually acceptable solution” to the ongoing strike at its PT Freeport Indonesia operations (Grasberg mining complex). The strike began September 15, 2011. The company said it is following the established Indonesian legal process, including pursuit of a resolution through a labor court process, while continuing to seek to negotiate with the union in good faith.
PT-FI is operating the Grasberg open-pit mine and the DOZ underground mine at reduced rates using non-striking employees and contractors. Since October 22, 2011, milling operations have been temporarily suspended because concentrate pipelines were damaged as a result of civil unrest. The company 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 road blockages by striking workers. PT-FI is working with local authorities to restore access to the road and the pipelines so that repairs can be completed and milling operations restarted.
Freeport’s fourth quarter 2011 sales estimates of 915 million lb of copper and 305,000 oz of gold included 185 million lb of copper and 280,000 oz of gold from PT-FI (average daily production from PT-FI of 2 million lb of copper and 3,000 oz of gold). These estimates were based on PT-FI achieving fourth quarter mill throughput averaging approximately 175,000 metric tons per day (approximately 75% of normal rates). The quarter-to-date average through October 31, 2011, including the currently on-going suspension of milling and concentrate delivery operations since October 22, 2011, has been approximately 120,000 mt/d.