Canadian Mining Journal

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COPPER-GOLD: Grasberg talks underway says Rio



Rio Tinto is willing to sell its 40% of the Grasberg copper-gold mine as it transitions from open pit to underground. (Image: Quora.com)

INDONESIA – Rio Tinto of Melbourne, Australia, has confirmed that it is in talks with several parties concerning the sale of its interest in the Grasberg copper-gold mine in the province of Papua. Historically, the project has been owned 40% by Rio and 60% by a subsidiary of Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold.

Rio Tinto says PT Indonesian Asahan Aluminium Persero (Inalum) is interested in purchasing Rio’s entire share for US$3.5 billion.

The Grasberg open pit is one of the world’s largest, but the project is transitioning to an underground block caving mine expected to reach full capacity of 160,000 t/d by 2022. Grasberg has also begun work on the Deep Mill Level zone block caving project that will produce an additional 80,000 t/d by 2021.

Visit www.RioTinto.com to follow the sale or www.FCX.com for more information about Grasberg operations.