Freeport to Sell Stake in Copper Mine to Lundin for $263 Millionby
Lundin will acquire interest in Timok prospect in Serbia
Agreement adds to 2014 deal for Freeport's Candelaria complex
Freeport-McMoRan Inc.’s agreed to sell part of its stake in a copper-gold project in Serbia to Lundin Mining Corp. for as much as $263 million, as part of its drive to offload assets to cut its debt by about $5 billion.
The current partners in the Timok project are Freeport, who’s the operator, and an affiliate of Reservoir Minerals Inc., Toronto-based Lundin said Thursday in a statement. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter, if Reservoir Minerals declines to exercise a right of first refusal, Lundin said.
Commodity producers including Glencore Plc and Anglo American Plc are selling operations as weaker growth in China and supply gluts continue to weigh on prices and savage profits. Freeport agreed last month to sell an additional stake in an Arizona mine for $1 billion to Sumitomo Metal Mining Co.
The planned sale adds to Lundin’s $1.8 billion purchase in 2014 of a controlling stake in Freeport’s Candelaria copper mining complex in Chile and its $325 million purchase of Rio Tinto Group’s Eagle nickel and copper project in northern Michigan in 2013.
The deal will allow existing partners to use Lundin’s “proven underground base metals development, construction and operating skill sets to advance the Timok project into operation,” Lundin Chief Executive Officer Paul Conibear said in the statement.