Freeport expects block caving from the DMLZ mine to start mid2019

first_imgThere are major ownership changes planned for PT-Freeport Indonesia, with shares to change hands between PT Inalum, Freeport McMoRan (FCX) and current JV partner Rio Tinto, where ultimately PT Inalum’s share ownership will be 51.2% of PT-FI (subject to a dividend assignment mechanism to replicate the Joint Venture economics), and FCX’s ownership will be 48.8%. On the mining side, PT-FI is currently into the final extraction phase of the Grasberg open pit, which contains high copper and gold ore grades. Following results of an economic analysis in the first half of 2018, PT-FI revised its mine plans to continue to mine ore from the open pit until transitioning to the Grasberg Block Cave (GBC) underground mine in the first half of 2019. PT-FI has several projects in the Grasberg minerals district related to the development of its large-scale, long-lived, high-grade underground ore bodies. In aggregate, these underground ore bodies are expected to produce large-scale quantities of copper and gold following the transition from the Grasberg open pit.Substantial progress has been made to prepare for the transition to mining of the GBC underground mine. First undercut blasting occurred in September 2018, and cave production is scheduled for the first half of 2019. All underground mining levels and the ore flow system are being commissioned. Production rates over the next five years are expected to ramp up to 130,000 metric tons of ore per day.During second-quarter 2018, PT-FI initiated plans to conduct hydraulic fracturing activities to manage rock stresses and pre-condition the Deep Mill Level Zone (DMLZ) underground mine for large-scale production following mining induced seismic activity experienced in 2017 and 2018. Hydraulic fracturing activities designed to safely manage production commenced in third-quarter 2018 and to date have accomplished expected results. PT-FI’s revised mine plans for the DMLZ underground mine, which continue to be reviewed, currently project block cave mining activities in the DMLZ underground mine to commence in mid-2019. PT-FI expects the DMLZ to reach full production rates of 80,000 t per day in 2022. Estimates of timing of future production continue to be reviewed and may be modified as additional information becomes available.last_img