Freeport open pit mine to stop in 2019

6:19 pm on 19 April 2018
Freeport's Grasberg mine in Papua, Indonesia.

Freeport's Grasberg mine in Papua, Indonesia. Photo: AFP

The management of the mining company Freeport Indonesia says it will close the operation of its open-pit gold mine in Papua next year.

An Executive Vice President of PT Freeport Indonesia, Sony Prasetyo, says that production of the mine in Papua's Mimika regency would wind down as 2019 approaches.

Indonesia's Tempo news outlet reports that exploitation of the gold resource will not be able to be sustained in the open-pit mine.

He says the only way Freeport can continue its operations at the Papua Grasberg deposit is ongoing underground mining.

But he indicated that issues around operating permits would need to be resolved before that underground operations can be extended.

Sony says closing the open-pit mine will affect revenue, but is reluctant to confirm whether there will be staff layoffs.

Freeport currently has three mining operations at grasberg: the open pit, the Deep Ore Zone underground mine, and the Big Gossan underground mine.