Strike at Freeport Indonesia’s Grasberg Mine Supports Copper Price?

After this fatal accident, which led to four deaths among Freeport workers, hundreds of workers blocked access to the open-pit area of the Grasberg complex for two days. The Grasberg mine is the world's largest gold mine and third-largest copper mine. Around 24,000 workers are employed by Freeport Indonesia at this mine site. After the September accident, mining activities at the Grasberg mine ceased for two days as authorities investigated the accident and forced the miner to enhance safety policies. The September accident, which involved a truck collision, was not the first fatal incident at the Grasberg mine. In May 2013, 28 Freeport Indonesia workers died after a tunnel had collapsed.

Furthermore, the Workers' Union (SPKEP SPSI) announced that a larger strike, involving around 3,600 Freeport Indonesia workers, will be held between 6 November and 6 December 2014 as both parties have not yet reached an agreement. The workers want the management to take responsibility for the fatal accidents.

The benchmark copper prices in London were near a two-week high on Tuesday (28/10) on expectation that strikes at the Grasberg mine as well as one planned in Peru may curb the global copper supply. Meanwhile, an expected seasonal pick-up in demand from China provides additional support for copper prices

Key Findings:

Recent fatal accidents cause concern about safety policies at Freeport Indonesia’s Grasberg mining site

Freeport Indonesia workers will go on strike up to 6 December leading to limited copper production and thus global copper prices may get a boost