Canadian Mining Journal


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:

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 to follow the sale or for more information about Grasberg operations.