Wednesday, February 22, 2006


Freeport Mine Work 'Suspended'

Morningstar has this report on Freeport. "Production at the world's largest copper and gold mine was suspended Wednesday after illegal miners blocked the road leading to the site in Indonesia's remote Papua province, a company spokesman said. The suspension could cost some 1,800 metric tons of copper and 9,000 troy ounces of gold production a day."

"Around 400 illegal miners have set up wood and stone barricades on the road leading to the Grasberg mine in Indonesia's Papua province, which is run by a local unit of New Orleans-based Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (FCX), said police spokesman Kartono Wangsadisastra. 'Mining and milling operations have been temporarily suspended as a precautionary measure,' said Freeport spokesman Siddharta Moersjid in Jakarta.' The Indonesian authorities are working to resolve the situation in a peaceful and expeditious manner."

"A week long stoppage could loose 12,600 tons of copper and 63,000 oz of gold,' said analyst John Meyer of Numis Securities Limited. 'This is at a time when the copper market can ill afford to lose production although the supply of gold is far less critical from a market and industrial perspective,' he added."

"The protest followed clashes Tuesday after police and company security guards tried to disperse the miners, who earn their living retrieving gold from waste rock dumped by the mine, said Wangsadisastra."

This is roughly 4% of new gold lost each day. (Assuming 80 million ounces mined each year.)
Geez, between Nigerian oil & Indonesian gold, the hits just keep coming.
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