Congo Repeats View That Freeport ‘Unilaterally’ Sold Copper Mine

The Democratic Republic of Congo reiterated its objection to Freeport-McMoRan Inc.’s decision to act on its own in selling its majority stake in a copper project.

Freeport announced this month that it had agreed to sell its 56 percent holding in Tenke Fungurume mine for $2.65 billion to China Molybdenum Co. The government, which has a stake in the mine through state-run Gecamines, said it wasn’t aware of the deal in advance, and that the terms are being examined.

The shareholders “must comply with their agreements with the Democratic Republic of Congo as well as the applicable laws and regulations,” Mines Minister Martin Kabwelulu and Minister of Portfolio, Louise Munga Mesozi, said in a joint statement e-mailed late Monday.

Gecamines owns 20 percent of Tenke Fungurume, alongside Freeport and Toronto-based Lundin Mining Corp.

China Molybdenum agreed to acquire Freeport’s ownership via a 70 percent interest in Bermuda-based TF Holdings Ltd. Lundin, which owns the other 30 percent of TF Holdings, was given 90 days to match the offer for Freeport’s stake.

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