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Freeport confirms Tenke Fungurume sale to China Molybdenum for up to US$2.77B; may off-load Freeport Cobalt


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Freeport confirms Tenke Fungurume sale to China Molybdenum for up to US$2.77B; may off-load Freeport Cobalt

Freeport-McMoRanInc. confirmed it is sellingits 70% interest in TF Holdings China Molybdenum Co. Ltd.for US$2.65 billion in cash and up to US$120 million in contingent considerationand said it will use the proceeds to repay debt.

Under the definitive agreement announced May 9, the contingentconsideration consists of US$60 million if the average copper price exceeds US$3.50per pound and US$60 million if the average cobalt price exceeds US$20 per pound,both during the 24-month period between 2018 and 2019.

The company will also negotiate definitive agreements exclusivelywith China Molybdenum to sell its interests in Freeport Cobalt, including the cobalt refinery inFinland, for US$100 million and the wholly owned Kisanfu copper-cobalt exploration project in theDemocratic Republic of Congo for US$50 million.

TF Holdings owns an 80% in Tenke Fungurume Mining SARL, giving Freeport an effective56% interest in the Tenke Fungurumecopper asset. The remaining interest in the mine is owned by Lundin Mining Corp., which has a 24% interest, and , which owns 20%.

Freeport does not expect the transaction to impact Tenke's operations,employment, taxes and benefits provided to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

About 63% of China Molybdenum shareholders have decided to votein favor of the transaction.

The TF Holdings transaction is expected to close in the fourthquarter this year, subject to regulatory and China Molybdenum shareholder approvals,as well as Lundin's right of first offer, which will be open for 90 days.

The sale of Freeport Cobalt, if agreed between the parties, willalso be subject to right of first offer from Lundin.

Freeport President and CEO Richard Adkerson said that in itsbid to reduce debt, the company has announced over US$4 billion of asset sales intotal in 2016.

"We are committed to our immediate objective of reducingdebt while retaining a large portfolio of high quality assets and resources anda leading position in the global copper industry," Adkerson said.