PT Freeport Indonesia – Grasberg Mine

The Grasberg Mine, located in the Sudirman Mountain Range in Papua, Indonesia, has the worlds largest single gold reserve and the worlds second largest copper reserve. Crushing and conveying systems are essential to the mine and provide the capacity to transport up to 250,000 metric tons of ore per day.

Reliable Controls Corporation has recently had the opportunity to team up with PT Freeport Indonesia in opening two additional underground mines. This project will transition the site from “open pit” to entirely underground. The Grasberg Underground Expansion Project began with Control System engineering assistance in New Orleans and is on-going in Papua, Indonesia. RCC assisted in three different phases of the project:

  1. Engineering – Through the engineering phase, we developed the PLC programming code base templates and performed the QA/QC on electrical & instrumentation deliverables. This began in May of 2012 in New Orleans and lasted one year while engineering review and approval were finalized.
  2. Development of Testing & Commissioning Documentation – During this phase, we performed an analysis of all of the components and developed test packages to ensure quality and consistency of all power distribution, relay protection and process controls. The pre-commissioning plan was also created during this phase, which included database, work-flow, base PLC code, and work packages.
  3. Commissioning Execution – The final stage of this project consisted of RCC assisting with coordinating all vendor representatives and overseeing the actual testing of the facility.

Working in Indonesia has been a new experience for our company, and we continue to learn many things, including:

  • Working with a 14-16 hour time difference between the site and the engineering companies/suppliers in North America
  • International Logistics, including the tracking of procured items to the island of Papua
  • Adapting to natural incidents, for example, the mine collapsing in May of 2013, which shut down all operations for two weeks and caused at least a two-month delay in the project

The ACIS (Power Distribution, protective relay commissioning) segment of the project is approximately 85% complete, with the initial start-up phase to occur within the next few months. The Ore flow segment is on-going, with at least three more years before completion.

The Reliable Controls team is working hard in Indonesia and continually increases their knowledge base in underground mining, the Southeast Asian market, and networking throughout the mining industry. The RCC team has worked with PTFI in establishing an engineered approach to a commissioning plan and implementation to that plan. Our teams work well together and we look forward to the possibility of expanding as the project continues to build into construction completion and pre-commissioning.

Thank you to Ray & Tami Longhurst and Steve Murdock for all of their hard work and dedication to this extensive project!