FREEPORT-MCMORAN TO SHUT DOWN CAMINADA SULFUR MINE IN LOUISIANA

FREEPORT-MCMORAN TO SHUT DOWN CAMINADA SULFUR MINE IN LOUISIANA

Freeport-McMoRan Resource Partners Ltd. said it is continuing to reduce costs and to make operations more efficient in its integrated phosphate fertilizer business and anticipates closing down its Caminada facility in Louisiana.

FRP and IMC Fertilizer Inc. have established a phosphate fertilizer joint venture, IMC-Agrico Co., which has begun the process of reducing costs by approximately $95 million a year for the joint venture partners.FRP is also further reducing costs in its sulfur division.

FRP operates two frasch sulfur mines, Main Pass and Caminada, both located in the Louisiana Gulf Coast area.

The frasch process mines deep-lying sulfur by forcing very hot water into the deposit and dumping out the melted sulfur.

Sulfur production at Main Pass is more than 3,000 tons a day, up from 1,300 tons a day at the end of the second quarter.

Main Pass oil production has been averaging 24,000 barrels a day since May 1993.

Main Pass sulfur output continues to accelerate toward its full production level of 5,500 tons a day, or 2 million tons a year.

FRP said that level will probably be reached next year.

Due to these significant improvements, FRP said it no longer needs the marginally profitable sulfur production from Caminada. Operations there are expected to cease over the next several months.

FRP's sulfur obligations to the IMC-Agrico joint venture and other commercial customers will not be affected.

Because of previously reported charges to second-quarter 1993 earnings, the shutdown of Caminada will have no significant impact on FRP reported earnings.

FRP has a 58.3 percent ownership interest in the Main Pass sulfur and oil production project.