March 1, 2017 / 9:38 AM / 3 years ago

Mitsubishi Materials faces glitch in restart of Indonesia copper smelter

TOKYO, March 1 (Reuters) - A minor technical glitch forced Japan’s Mitsubishi Materials Corp to stop operations at Indonesia’s main copper smelter, briefly resumed on Wednesday after a strike had halted all but the refining process since Jan. 19, a spokesman said.

“We expect to fix the technical problem and resume operation in a short period,” the spokesman said, without giving a specific timeframe.

The Gresik smelter, owned by PT Smelting, produced about 190,000 tonnes of copper cathode in the year to March 2016 and had planned to produce 260,000 tonnes this financial year through March 31, before accounting for the strike’s impact.

The spokesman declined to give the latest output plan for this year.

PT Smelting is 60.5 percent owned by Mitsubishi Materials, while Freeport-McMoRan Inc’s Indonesian unit holds 25 percent. (Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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