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Freeport-McMoRan unit options Mundoro asset in Serbia

Mundoro Capital Inc. granted Freeport-McMoRan Exploration Corp. an option to acquire up to a 75% interest in its Savinac and Bacevica copper-gold properties in Serbia.

The company said July 30 that the Freeport-McMoRan Inc. subsidiary can earn an initial 51% by spending US$5 million on the project over three years in the first phase of the earn-in agreement, with Mundoro acting as operator.

In the second phase, Freeport-McMoRan can increase its interest to 75% by spending a further US$40 million on the project by the fifth anniversary of the start of the second phase.

Mundoro said that if either party's interest in the joint venture dropped below 10%, it would convert to a 2% net smelter royalty, up to half of which could be bought back.

The option beefs up Freeport-McMoRan's presence in Serbia, where it has a 39.6% interest in the Timok Lower Zone of the Timok project, a sizable copper-gold deposit.