June 1, 2013 / 5:57 AM / 5 years ago

Indonesia says Freeport mine cannot resume production yet

JAKARTA, June 1 (Reuters) - Indonesia has told Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold Inc it cannot resume production yet at its huge copper mine following a major accident, a government official said on Saturday, adding to doubts how much longer the company can continue supplies of the metal.

Freeport suspended operations at its Grasberg complex in eastern Indonesia on May 15, a day after a training tunnel collapsed killing 28 people in one of Indonesia’s worst mining accidents. Another worker is in serious condition after a separate accident on Friday, prompting a union leader to tell members to stop work.

“On Thursday, the director general (at the energy and mineral resources ministry) issued a letter forbidding all production activity except for maintenance,” chief mining inspector Syawaludin Lubis told Reuters in a text message.

He gave no time frame for the resumption of production.

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