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Freeport Bets Copper’s No Oil With Growth to Grab Top Spot

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Freeport McMoRan Inc. is testing the nerve of the copper industry, and its own investors, with an expansion that has it poised to become the world’s biggest producer at a time of slowing China growth.

The Phoenix-based company will close the gap with current world No. 1 Codelco next year after expanding mines in Peru and the U.S. and as the Chilean state-owned company runs out of profitable ore at a mine in the Atacama Desert.