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Bonus payment agreement ends strike at Freeport’s mine

Freeport McMoRan’s Grasberg is the world’s largest gold mine and third largest copper operation. (Image from archives)

After a 10-day strike that hit Freeport-McMoRan’s giant Grasberg open pit copper and gold mine in the Indonesian province of Papua, operations went back to normal on Monday.

According to Reuters, the company’s Indonesian division and representatives of the PT Freeport Indonesia Chemical, Energy and Mining Workers Union finally reached an agreement related to bonus payments in dispute.

Close to 1,000 workers, mostly truck operators, stopped working by the end of September. The action had an impact on Grasberg’s open-pit related processes and a processing plant, but it did not affect underground operations. Thus, output of copper and gold concentrate remained untouched.

Grasberg is one of the world’s biggest gold and copper mines but, as has reported, since 2011 the project has been plagued by labour unrest, accidents, and production glitches.

In fact, Freeport-McMoRan expects gold sales volumes at the mine to be 8.1% less this year than what it forecast in April, while copper sales will be 7.1% lower.