Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (FCX) was formed in the late 1980’s as a spin-off from the parent company Freeport-McMoRan Inc. The “Freeport” organization has roots in the minerals industry going back to the early 1900’s.
1988: Grasberg copper-gold deposit discovered in Indonesia. Twenty percent of FCX spun off from parent company and taken public on NYSE.
1989: A series of expansions initiated following the Grasberg discovery.
1991: New Contract of Work with a 30-year term and provisions for two 10-year extensions signed with Government of Indonesia.
1993: FCX completed the acquisition of Atlantic Copper (formerly Rio Tinto Minera) in Spain, whose primary asset is a copper smelter.
1995: Remaining 80 percent of FCX taken public on the NYSE. PT Freeport Indonesia announced $1.35 billion strategic alliance with Rio Tinto. Completed third concentrator mill expansion.
1997: FCX received approval from Indonesia’s Minister of Environment for a Regional AMDAL study (an environmental impact assessment), which permitted further expansion of the milling rate up to a maximum of 300,000 metric tons of ore per day.
1998: Fourth concentrator mill expansion completed, making FCX one of the world’s leaders in high volume/low cost production of copper and gold. PT Smelting construction completed and operations commenced.
1999: Montgomery-Watson Environmental Audit submitted to FCX in December. The auditors found "the Environmental Management Systems developed and implemented by FCX to be exemplary and a showcase for the mining industry."
2001: FCX signed a special voluntary Trust Fund agreement with the Amungme and Kamoro villagers living closest to the mining operations providing for an initial $2.5 million and $500,000 each year thereafter, subsequently increased to $1 million each year beginning in 2004.
2002: Deep Ore Zone (DOZ) underground mine completed at 25,000 metric tons of ore per day with further expansion initiated.
2004: DOZ expansion to 50,000 metric tons of ore per day initiated.
2005: FCX achieves record copper and gold production.
2007: In March 2007, FCX completed the acquisition of Phelps Dodge Corporation, a fully integrated producer of copper and molybdenum with mines in North and South America, and several development projects, including Tenke Fungurume in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). With the acquisition of Phelps Dodge, FCX becomes the largest publicly traded copper company in the world. Subsequent to the acquisition, Phelps Dodge Corporation's legal name was changed to Freeport-McMoRan Corporation.
2009: Initial copper production commenced at the Tenke Fungurume mine in early 2009, and targeted copper production rates were achieved and the cobalt and sulphuric acid plants were commissioned later in the year.
2010: The DOZ expansion to 80,000 metric tons of ore per day was completed. In addition, production commenced at the Big Gossan underground mine in late 2010.
2012: An expansion of the Tenke Fungurume operations was completed, which will optimize the current plant and increased capacity to 14,000 metric tons of ore per day. In addition, in mid-2012, the Climax molybdenum mine in Colorado was commissioned, which includes a new 25,000 metric ton per day mill facility.