Jakarta – Gold and copper miner PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI) sold less copper and gold in the first half of 2019, decreasing to almost half the amount sold during the same period last year due to the transition from open pit to underground site.
According to the "second quarter and first-semester" report of US mining giant Freeport-McMoRan Inc (FCX), one of the shareholders of PTFI, the latter's copper sales in the first six months of 2019 stood at 325 million pounds or 48 percent lower year-on-year (yoy).
The lower copper sales were in line with the decrease in production, which fell 58.9 percent to 270 million pounds in the January-June period this year from 658 million pounds in the same period last year.
During the same period, PTFI's gold sales fell 67.03 percent to 420,000 ounces from 1.27 million ounces. Its gold production dropped 76.3 percent to only 316 million ounces from 1.33 million ounces.
By December 2019, FCX estimates that PTFI's consolidated copper and gold sales volumes will stand at 600 million pounds of copper and 800,000 ounces of gold.
"PTFI will continue to monitor geotechnical conditions to determine the extent of mining at the Grasberg open pit. As PTFI transitions mining from the open pit to underground, metal production is expected to improve by 2021," FCX further stated. (hen)