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24 novembre 2016 4 24 /11 /novembre /2016 01:31

Freeport closes Congo mine sale, CEO talking to State miner

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-freeport-mcmoran-mine-ceo-idUSKBN13B2SU

Reuters, 17th November 2016

LIMA – Freeport-McMoRan said on Wednesday it had completed the $2.65-billion sale of its stake in the Democratic Republic of Congo's Tenke mine, as chief executive Richard Adkerson said in an interview that he hopes negotiations will resolve the state miner's opposition to the deal.

Freeport, the world's largest publicly-listed copper producer, announced in May that it would sell its 56% stake in the mine to China Molybdenum and use the cash to cut its bloated debt.

State miner Gecamines owns 20% of Tenke and has repeatedly said it opposes the Freeport transaction, saying that it was not informed beforehand of the plans and had the right to make an offer first for any sale.

Meantime, Freeport's deal has been held up for months by minority mine owner Lundin Mining, which had the right to supplant China Molybdenum's offer, sell its stake, or do nothing.

That barrier was eliminated on Tuesday, when Lundin said it would sell its 24% stake to Chinese private equity firm BHR Partners for about $1.14-billion in cash.

Gecamines is also "strongly opposed" to Lundin's transaction, arguing on Wednesday that it has a preemptive right to buy Lundin's stake in the mine. Lundin declined to comment on the matter.

Freeport will work with Gecamines to resolve the dispute, Adkerson said in an interview on Wednesday, adding that if that process fails, the Phoenix-based miner is confident it would prevail in arbitration.

Freeport has completed asset sales worth $4.03-billion so far this year, RBC Capital Markets analyst Fraser Phillips said in a note to clients, and that could increase to $6.62-billion if energy asset sales close.

Adkerson added that the surprise victory of Donald Trump in the US presidential election last week had triggered "fund buying" of copper, bringing its price closer to fundamentals in a market that he said was now "essentially balanced."

Last week, benchmark copper prices recorded their biggest weekly gain since 2011, fuelled largely by Trump's promises of infrastructure spending. The metal is used in everything from wiring to construction.

The rally has been a "pleasant surprise", he added, but would not alter Freeport's strategy. Any additional revenue from higher prices would go toward debt repayment, he said.

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  • : Congo Panorama. Le blog du soldat du peuple: Par Antoine Roger Lokongo, le Soldat du Peuple engagé dans la bataille des idées pour un Congo meilleur. Un Congo qui s'assume et devient un parténaire clé de la Chine, hier un pays sous-développé, qui, en un lapse de temps, a changé son destin en comptant sur ses propres efforts et devenu une puissance.
  • Congo Panorama. Le blog du soldat du peuple: Par Antoine Roger Lokongo, le Soldat du Peuple engagé dans la bataille des idées pour un Congo meilleur. Un Congo qui s'assume et devient un parténaire clé de la Chine, hier un pays sous-développé, qui, en un lapse de temps, a changé son destin en comptant sur ses propres efforts et devenu une puissance.
  • : A partir des idées de mes héros, Patrice Emery Lumumba et Laurent Désiré Kabila, je suis l'actualité politique de mon pays, la République Démocratique du Congo en partuclier et de l'Afrique en général et je donne mes commentaires. Antoine Roger Lokongo
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