Indonesia Has No Timeframe to Finish Freeport Mine Probe

Indonesian authorities investigating the cause of an accident that killed 28 people at Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc.’s Grasberg complex have yet to reach a conclusion and haven’t set a timeframe to complete the probe.

Technical discussions continue and data is still being gathered, Thamrin Sihite, director general of coal and minerals at the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry, told reporters in Jakarta today. Grasberg, the world’s second-biggest copper mine, will stay shut until the government gets the results of an independent probe, Sihite said June 5.

The ministry is “result oriented, not time oriented,” Sihite said today.

Investigators are seeking the cause of a tunnel collapse on May 14 at Grasberg, which also produces gold. Another worker died June 1 from a separate accident when material overflowed from an ore bin and covered a truck during maintenance activity.

Freeport declined 0.4 percent to $30.92 at the close in Toronto. The shares have fallen 10 percent this year.

BHP Billiton Ltd.’s Escondida mine in Chile is the largest copper mine.

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