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Freeport-McMoRan agrees to partial sale of cobalt business for US$150M

Freeport-McMoRan Inc. agreed to sell its Kokkola cobalt refinery in Finland and related cobalt cathode precursor business to Umicore SA for about US$150 million, plus working capital.

The Arizona-based miner said May 23 it will separate its cobalt business before completing the transaction.

Umicore will acquire the refinery and cathode precursor business, which represents about 60% of the refinery's historical revenues, and Freeport will retain the remaining cobalt business.

The company's joint venture partner, Lundin Mining Corp., will receive 30% of the proceeds.

The transaction is expected to close by year-end.

Freeport-McMoRan holds a 56% interest in the Kokkola refinery, Lundin Mining owns 24%, and Gécamines SA owns the remaining 20% stake.