Worker killed at Indonesian copper mine

Death marks third fatal accident at the remote location this year

PAPUA (REUTERS) — A worker was killed after an incident in an underground section of Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold Inc's giant Grasberg copper mine in Indonesia on Sunday, the company said.

Operations and production at the world's second-biggest copper mine were not affected, a union official said.

"The Freeport Indonesia command center received a report of an incident in the West 1E loading area in the DOZ underground mine," Freeport Indonesia corporate communications officer Karel Luntungan told Reuters via text message on Sunday.

An underground rescue team had evacuated two victims. One was declared dead and the other was receiving treatment at Tembagapura hospital not far from the mine, Luntungan said.

This is at least the third deadly accident at the remote Papua complex this year, including a tunnel collapse in May that killed 28 people.

Government officials had been informed about the incident, Luntungan said.

"There is no stoppage of operations and production at the Freeport Indonesia mining site so far," Juli Parorrongan, a union spokesman told Reuters on Monday.

"However, the workers union urges Freeport Indonesia to investigate the accident to prevent similar accidents in the future."

The Grasberg mine in remote Papua, produces about 220,000 tonnes of copper ore a day under normal conditions, but output has been below this level for most of this year after several fatal incidents.

The open-pit mine normally produces between 140,000 tonnes and 150,000 tonnes of ore per day, while output from the underground operations is 80,000 tonnes.

Latest stories