US miner Freeport-McMoRan on Wednesday declared force majeure on shipments from its strike-hit Indonesian gold and copper mine so it can avoid liability on existing customer orders. Around 8,000 of Freeport Indonesia’s 23,000 workers have been on strike for more than a month in restive Papua province, demanding drastic wage increases and better working conditions.
Freeport said the labour action and resulting drop in production at its Grasberg mine has taken a toll on its ability to make good on some promised shipments to customers. The declaration means Freeport can avoid the usual liabilities for failing to meet its contractual obligations.
“The (lower) production has impacted our ability to fully perform our sales commitments, and as a result we were required to declare force majeure on the affected… sales agreements,” Freeport Indonesia spokesman Ramdani Sirait told AFP.