UPDATE 1-Lundin gets bid extension on Freeport Congo mine stake

Tue Jul 19, 2016 7:22pm EDT
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(Adds background, no comment from Lundin)

July 19 (Reuters) - Lundin Mining Corp has been granted an extension until Sept. 15 to make a bid for Freeport-McMoRan Inc's stake in the Tenke Fungurume mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lundin said on Tuesday. The previous deadline was Aug. 8.

Lundin, a Toronto-based miner, gave no reasons for the extension but said it continued to evaluate its options in connection with its holdings in the mine. A Lundin spokeswoman declined to comment further.

Freeport owns 56 percent of the Tenke copper and cobalt mine and Lundin 24 percent. Congo's state mining firm Gecamines owns the remaining 20 percent stake.

In June, Tenke mine operator Freeport agreed to sell its stake to China Molybdenum for $2.65 billion to help cut its debt.

Lundin has a right of first offer on any sale and hired Bank of Montreal to help it consider its options. The Tenke mine is one of the world's largest copper deposits.

Lundin could do nothing and allow the China Moly deal to proceed, supplant the offer or sell its stake.

Lundin Chief Executive Paul Conibear told Reuters last month that the company has had "credible" interest from multiple parties on "a number of these scenarios." (Reporting by Nicole Mordant in Vancouver; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)