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Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (NYSE: FCX) today announced that PT Freeport Indonesia (PT-FI) has resumed open pit mining and concentrating activities at its Grasberg operations in Papua, Indonesia following approval from Indonesia’s Department of Energy and Mineral Resources (DEMR) on June 21, 2013. The resumption of production activities is being conducted in a phased approach. Open pit and milling operations have commenced initially and underground operations are expected to be ramped up upon further approvals and inspections from the DEMR. PT-FI has conducted safety inspections throughout its operations and is working cooperatively with government authorities to resume underground operations as soon as practical.
Although the May 14, 2013 tragic accident occurred outside the area of mining operations, PT-FI temporarily suspended mining and processing activities at the Grasberg complex out of respect for and in sympathy of the deceased and injured workers and their families, and to conduct inspections of its facilities in coordination with Indonesian government authorities.
James R. Moffett, Chairman of the Board of FCX, and Richard C. Adkerson, Vice Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of FCX, said: “We again offer our deepest condolences to the families of our deceased and injured workers. We express our appreciation to the Government of Indonesia for its thorough review of these matters and reiterate our commitment to the highest international standards for worker safety. This was an unprecedented event in our more than 40-year history of operations in Papua and we are taking all actions required to prevent future incidents and to assure the safety of our workforce.”
For the period between May 15, 2013 and June 21, 2013, the estimated impact on PT-FI production approximated 115 million pounds of copper and 115,000 ounces of gold (approximately 3 million pounds of copper and 3,000 ounces of gold per day for the 38 day period). The impact of the ongoing suspension of underground operations approximates 1 million pounds of copper and 1,000 ounces of gold per day. PT-FI is actively working with government authorities on a return to full operations and will update its production outlook as additional information becomes available.