Freeport limiting travel, encouraging work from home

Contributed Graphic/NADAQ. Six-month trend of copper prices.

SAFFORD – Freeport announced it is limiting both foreign and domestic travel for employees as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

All travel for the mining giant must be approved by executive management and exceptions will only be granted for critical business need.

In addition, Freeport is informing all non-essential employees to work from home, is facilitating social distancing for employees on site and is moving in-person meetings to web-based alternatives.

Copper prices have been on the decline following the spread of the COVID-19 virus, with NASDAQ reporting prices dropping from a high of $2.8735 per pound on Jan. 14 to $2.1005 per pound at the close of trading on March 24.

Freeport operates the Safford and Morenci mines, with Morenci the largest open-pit mining operation in North America. Freeport employs more than 1,200 in Safford, with an additional 400 contractors onsite. Morenci employs nearly 3,800 with an average of 1,300 contractors on site.