The World’s Largest Gold Mine Still Suspended for the Week

Gold mine in indonesia

(Reuters) – The Indonesian government is to decide this week the resuming of the world largest gold mine operation after a 5-weeks suspension.

Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold Inc. asked the Indonesian government for permission to re-open the Grasberg mine in West Papua provenance in Indonesia. The world’s largest gold mine and third largest copper mine was suspended on May 15 after a training tunnel caved-in 38 miners.

Jero Wacik, the Indonesian Energy and Minerals Resources Minster, said to reports that the decision will be taken this week whether to resume the open-pit mine or not. The mine is relatively safe, but the steep slopes are considered a threat that needs to be monitored closely for safety. The underground mine is still shut, he added.

The investigations on May accident reported their initial findings were discussed at ministerial level, said the head of the probe team. The initial investigations indicate that the earth movements were caused by weathering or corrosion. The final report was given to the Minerals Ministry on Monday.

On May 14, a training tunnel collapsed and caved in at least 33 workers, 10 were rescued, and 14 bodies were recovered. The rest 11 miners are reported missing but believed to be buried under the rubble.

The Arizona-based American mining company, Freeport McMoRan, owns more than 90% of the mine and the Indonesian government owns 9.36%. The main office declared force Majeure last Wednesday, to free itself from obligations to deliver mined commodities, according to Reuters.