27 Oct 2011

Freeport declares force majeure as Papua strike bites

9:22 am on 27 October 2011

The US miner Freeport-McMoRan has declared force majeure on shipments from its strike-hit Indonesian gold and copper mine so it can avoid liability on existing customer orders.

About 8,000 of its 23,000 workers have been on strike for more than a month in Papua, demanding significant wage increases and better working conditions.

Freeport says the labour action and resulting drop in production at its Grasberg mine has taken a toll on its ability to make good on some promised shipments to customers.

The declaration means Freeport can avoid the usual liabilities for failing to meet its contractual obligations.