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Indonesia orders Freeport mine to halt production during probe into fatal accidents

Indonesia has ordered production to be suspended at a giant U.S.-owned gold and copper mine during an investigation into recent fatal accidents there.

PT Freeport Indonesia's Big Gossan underground training facility at its Grasberg mine in easternmost Papua province collapsed May 14, killing 28 workers. A truck driver at the mine died in a hospital Saturday, a day after he was critically injured when liquid ore material flowed into his vehicle.

Mines and Energy Minister Jero Wacik said Monday that production at the mine will have to be stopped during an investigation by an independent team. The probe is expected to be completed in two to three months.

The mine, which is owned by Phoenix, Arizona-based Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc., produces around 220,000 tons of ore per day.