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Accident at US-owned mine in Indonesia kills 1

December 1, 2013

TIMIKA, Indonesia (AP) — A worker died and another critically injured in an accident early Sunday at a giant U.S.-owned mine in Indonesia’s easternmost Papua province, police and company officials said.

Two Indonesian workers were passing a road on their way to a loading area when liquid ore material mixed with rocks suddenly flowed into their truck at the Grasberg mine, said Papua police spokesman Lt. Col. Sulistyo Pudjo Hartono.

It is run by Phoenix, Arizona-based Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc.

He said rescuers and other workers managed to pull the two from mound of mining materials, but one of them has died while another rushed to a hospital in critical condition.

In May, the roof of a tunnel inside the Big Gossan facility collapsed, killing 28 of 38 workers who were in a training area. The collapse prompted Indonesia’s government to halt production for 40 days to investigate fatal accidents there.

Mine operator PT Freeport Indonesia said the company has reported the Sunday’s accident to Indonesia’s energy and mining ministry.

“We are still working closely with authorities to find out the cause of the accident at this time,” said Daisy Primayanti, the company spokeswoman in Indonesia.

The mine in the resource-rich but impoverished area of Papua province employs more than 20,000 workers.

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