Grasberg mine cleared to reopen by Indonesian government

Freeport McMoRan has been mining copper and gold at Grasberg in remote Indonesia since the 1970s. In terms of reserves, Grasberg is still the richest deposit on the planet

The Indonesian government has given Freeport McMoRaN Copper and Gold the green light to resume operations at the world’s largest copper and gold mine.

Freeport halted most operations at the mine in the remote Indonesian province of West Papua on May 15 after a tunnel collapse killed 28 workers.

The suspension of production followed another accident, when a truck driver was left with critical injuries, which led union reps to call for a complete work stoppage.

Pressure to restart operation has grown in recent weeks, culminating with an attack by 70 locals on the site claiming “that people were starving as a result of not having any work.”

Milling and open pit operations are permitted but no underground operations are allowed, yet.

Freeport’s portfolio of metals assets also includes significant mining operations in the Americas, including the large-scale Morenci minerals district in North America and the Cerro Verde and El Abra operations in South America; and the Tenke Fungurume minerals district in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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