Friday 31 May 2013

Another worker killed in fresh Grasberg Mine cave in.

A worker has been killed in a cave in at the Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold operated Grasberg Mine in Indonesian West Papua, less than two weeks after an incident on 14 May 2013, in which 38 workers were buried, killing 28 of them. The incident is described as having happened when a tunnel collapsed at an underground 'drop point' (possibly the terminus of an underground railway). 

An emergency responce team removing the body of one of the workers killed in the 14 May 2013 cave in. Freeport Indonesia.

Work at the mine was suspended following the 14 May incident, but partially resumed on Wednesday 29 May, officially for 'mining facilities and equipment maintenance'. Between 35 and 40% of the workers at the mine are said to have resumed work, with the All-Indonesian Workers Union in the Chemical, Energy and Mining Sectors, which represents about 18 000 of the 24 000 workers at the mine advising its members not to return till a full enquiry into the incident has been carried out. The union has also been angered by the suspension of pay negotiations following the 14 May cave in, something Freeport Indonesia claims it has done 'out of respect' but which the union describes as 'unethical'.

The Indonesian Government has also expressed opposition to the resumption of work at the mine, with Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Jero Wacik claiming that work should not resume without his permission, which will not be given until the results of an enquiry are in. However the company is claiming the decision to resume work is their responsibility, not that of the government.

The Grasberg Mine produces around 220 000 of concentrated ore per day, making it the world's second most productive copper mine. Around 80 000 tonnes of tonnes of this are from the underground mine, with the remainder from a large pit mine also at the site.

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