Freeport McMorRan: Here’s Why We Will Lose Millions of Pounds of Copper

Freeport McMorRan Copper & Gold (NYSE:FCX), a mining major, is likely to lose production at its Indonesian mine due to a labor problem. The dispute will entail a loss of production of approximately 3 million-5 million pounds of copper (NYSE:JJC) and 5,000 ounces of gold (NYSE:GLD) per day. This is likely to adversely affect the numbers for this quarter.

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Negotiations at Freeport’s Grasberg mine for higher pay broke down and the workers are likely to strike work Thursday, the second strike in three months.

According to the company, “FCXs consolidated third quarter sales estimates, reported in July 2011, of 940 million pounds of copper and 415 thousand ounces of gold are expected to be unfavorably impacted by the strike. FCX will provide updated estimates as additional information becomes available about the duration of the strike and PT-FIs mitigation efforts, including the effect of revised operating plans.”

FCX is trading at $36.90 today, down 4.28%. Shares are down 7.10% year to date. The stock’s trading range for the year is between $ 37.00 and $61.35.

Shares of other top copper mining companies are getting sold: Rio Tinto (NYSE:RIO), Southern Copper (NYSE:SCCO), BHP Billiton (NYSE:BHP), and Augusta Resources (AMEX:AZC).