PTFI’s Grasberg Block Cave Breaks World Production Record for Daily Tonnage

GBC employees celebrated their daily production record with a cake.

GBC employees celebrated their daily production record with a cake. September 5, 2023 - Mark July 8 on your calendar as the day PT Freeport Indonesia shattered yet another world mining record, as Grasberg Block Cave became the first single block cave mine to produce 150,000 tons of copper ore in one day.  

To be exact, GBC employees safely mined 151,582 tons that day, a record not likely to be broken by anyone other than the same GBC team upping its own mark as the mine continues to thrive.  

“What’s most important about this production record is that we did it safely,” said Henky Rumbino, Senior Vice President, GBC Mine and CIP-PTFI.

GBC, which began production in 2019, is the world’s largest underground block cave. Its aggressive mine plan was the fastest-ever ramp-up to full production of any underground mine, a title it wrested from its predecessor in the Grasberg Underground Complex – the Deep Ore Zone mine, which closed in 2021.

“In addition, at full production, GBC will be the world’s largest single-footprint underground mine by production, with a lofty, 160,000-tons-per-day nameplate capacity,” Rumbino added.

That lofty total reflects the successful work and collaboration of all the groups and divisions at PTFI, said Matt Sullivan, Senior Vice President of Underground Mines-PTFI,

“It’s important for people to recognize not just our underground division for this accomplishment, because it took the tireless work of underground operations, engineering, operations maintenance, ore flow, and many other groups,” Sullivan said.

PTFI’s Grasberg underground complex includes four underground mines: the GBC mine, the Deep Mill Level Zone mine, the Big Gossan stope mine and the Kucing Liar project currently under development.

Photo: GBC employees celebrated their daily production record with a cake.