Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. confirmed that PT Freeport Indonesia (PT-FI) has restarted operations at its Grasberg mining and milling operations following a temporary labor-related shutdown February 23, 2012. Recent discussions between PT-FI management, union leaders, members of the workforce, and the local community have focused on returning to work in a harmonious and productive fashion.

Mobilization of the workforce commenced March 12, 2012, and mining and milling activities are being ramped up. Full production is expected to be reached in the second quarter of 2012.

The company estimates the impact from the recent work stoppage and work interruptions experienced earlier in the year will reduce first quarter 2012 production and sales by approximately 80 million lb of copper and 125,000 oz of gold. The company’s January 2012 estimates for first quarter sales volumes were 875 million lb of copper and 425,000 oz of gold, including 210 million lb and 400,000 oz from Grasberg. It was revised it first quarter sales volumes downward to 795 million lb of copper and 300,000 oz of gold to reflect the production disruptions at Grasberg. Achieving these volumes depends on a number of factors, including ramp-up activities at Grasberg.

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