VANCOUVER — Freeport-McMoRan (NYSE: FCX) has been working to reduce its sky-high debt loads, and on May 9 it made the deepest cut to date. The company has agreed to sell its 56% stake in the US$3-billion Tenke Fungurume copper-cobalt mine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to China Molybdenum for US$2.65 billion in cash.
The mine cost US$3 billion to build and has annual nameplate capacity of 195,000 tonnes of copper cathode and 15,000 cobalt hydroxide.
The move may surprise those who considered Tenke a core asset of Freeport. But the Tenke deal will bring Freeport’s asset sale proceeds to US$4 billion this year, which addresses the company’s US$20 billion in debt.
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