Jakarta – Copper and gold mining company Freeport Indonesia said on Sunday torrential rains have triggered a mudslide that swept through some parts of its mine in Tembagapura, Mimika Regency, Papua, and halted operations.
The rain on Saturday also damaged roads at the mining site, Freeport CEO Tony Wenas said in a statement.
The company's emergency preparedness and response team evacuated 14 workers from two buildings at the mining site, he said, adding that no one was harmed during the mud flood.
"Mining and processing activities are suspended during the recovery period," Tony said.
"Safety procedures for cleaning and repairing have been implemented since last night so hopefully normal operations can resume."
Flooding and mudslide hit the Mimika Regency in Central Papua at around 15:00 local time (06:00 GMT) on Saturday following heavy rains. Media reports said at least two residents were killed during the disaster.
Freeport has recently begun underground mining activities in Tembagapura Highlands after closing down the Grasberg open mining site in 2020.
According to Kompas newspaper, the Tembagapura mine can produce more than 187,000 tons of copper and gold ores per day and 9,000 tons of concentrate containing copper, gold, and silver.