TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The management of PT Freeport Indonesia will close the operation of the open-pit gold mine in Grasberg, Mimika, Papua.
Executive Vice President of PT Freeport Indonesia for Sustainable Development Sony Prasetyo, said that Freeport's production in 2019 will be reduced by 80,000 tons per day from the previous 200,000 tons per day.
"It is a technical condition, the open-pit mine in Grasberg is about to close, and by 2019 it is expected to stop, now it is already cannot be exploited, the only way we exploit it is from below or underground," Sony said in Timika on Monday, April 16, 2018.
Meanwhile, underground exploitation cannot be immediately carried out because there are still issues that must be solved, including the permits. However, if the government gives permission for underground mining exploitation, the result will not be optimal until around 2021 or 2023.
Sony said closing the open-pit mine will affect several things, including revenue. In addition, when he was asked about the possibility of having layoffs, Sony said it will be tough decision to make.
"I have not seen [the possibility for a lay off]. For this company, an employee is a valuable asset, so it will not be easy. It's normal in business to think of efficiency, but as i have said, it will not be easy, moreover for a lay off. It's a longshot," Sony said.