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Freeport Inks Agreement to Divest Interests in TF Holdings

Freeport-McMoRan Inc. FCX has entered into an agreement to sell its interests in TF Holdings Limited to China Molybdenum Co., Ltd. (“CMOC”) for $2.65 billion in cash and contingent consideration of up to $120 million. The contingent consideration consists of $60 million if the average copper price exceeds $3.50 per pound and $60 million if the average cobalt price exceeds $20 per pound, both during the 24-month period between 2018 and 2019.  

TF Holdings indirectly owns an 80% interest in Tenke Fungurume Mining S.A.. Freeport has a 70% interest in TF Holdings and about 56% stake in Tenke.

The transaction is expected to close in fourth-quarter 2016, on meeting the required regulatory approvals, CMOC shareholder approval, and other necessary closing conditions. The CMOC shareholders holding around 63% of the outstanding shares have undertaken to vote in favor of the resolutions for the transaction’s approval. The deal is subject to Lundin Mining Corporation’s right of first offer (“ROFO"), which will be open for 90 days from receipt of the ROFO notice.

Further, Freeport will negotiate with CMOC to enter into agreements to divest its interests in Freeport Cobalt, including the Kokkola Cobalt Refinery in Finland for $100 million, and the Kisanfu Exploration project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for $50 million. The sale of the interests in Freeport Cobalt would be subject to a ROFO from Lundin Mining Corporation.

The transaction supports Freeport’s strategy of strengthening its balance sheet and enhancing value for shareholders. The company plans to use the net proceeds from the transaction to repay debt.

Freeport’s shares fell roughly 11% to close at $10.52 yesterday.

Freeport currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Some other well-ranked companies in the mining space include First Quantum Minerals Ltd. FQVLF, Amerigo Resources Ltd. ARREF and Coeur Mining, Inc. CDE, all holding a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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