Worker killed at Freeport mine in Indonesia

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JAKARTA: A worker at a US-owned gold and copper mine in eastern Indonesia was killed instantly on Sunday when rocks fell from a machine, crushing him, police said.

The 27-year-old production operator was driving a car into the loading area  of Freeport-McMoRan’s huge Grasberg mine in Papua province when tragedy struck,  local police chief Sudirman told AFP.
 
“The worker was crushed to death after a machine used to load rocks onto  trucks unleashed its contents onto him instead. He died on the spot,” Sudirman  said.
 
“This is an industrial accident and we are still investigating.”    Another passenger in the car was injured but is in a stable condition, he  added.
 
In May, a training tunnel collapsed killing 28 miners as they took part in  a safety training course in what was one of Indonesia’s worst mining accidents.
 
The company suspended four senior employees who were accused by unions of  being at fault after workers threatened to strike.
 
Grasberg has also been plagued by production problems in recent years.
 
In June, Freeport declared force majeure on shipments from the mine, saying  it could not fulfil contractual obligations due to circumstances beyond its  control.
 
In 2011 a three-month strike crippled production at the mine, and workers  only halted the industrial action once Freeport agreed to a huge pay rise.
 
Freeport holds the world’s largest gold reserves in the restive province. AFP

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