China Molybdenum Co. Ltd. is said to be among the hopefuls for Lundin Mining Corp.'s 24% stake in the Tenke Fungurume copper-cobalt operation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Bloomberg News wrote Sept. 22, citing people familiar with the situation.
The Chinese group has had talks with Lundin over the intention, as the latter is trying to exit the venture, according to the unnamed sources.
Lundin has been considering multiple options since Freeport-McMoRan Inc. agreed in May to sell its 56% interest in the property to China Molybdenum for US$2.65 billion in cash and up to US$120 million in contingent consideration.
As the project's joint venture partner, Lundin can match China Molybdenum's bid for Freeport's stake as a right of first offer. Earlier this month, Lundin secured an extension to the period in which it is allowed to make an offer for Freeport's stake in Tenke Fungurume, until Sept. 29.
According to one of the unnamed sources, Lundin is also in talks to secure a third-party loan to exercise its right of first offer.
Even if the right of first offer expires before a deal is reached, the company can continue to pursue the sale of its minority stake in the project.
In early September, Tenke Fungurume's 20% owner Gecamines SARL tabled an offer to buy Freeport's 56% stake in the project, without disclosing the bid amount.