UPDATE 1-Congo state miner submits offer for Freeport's Tenke copper project

Wed Sep 7, 2016 4:35am EDT
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KINSHASA, Sept 7 (Reuters) - The Democratic Republic of Congo's state mining company Gecamines said on Wednesday it has submitted an offer to buy Freeport McMoRan Inc's majority stake in the Tenke copper project.

Freeport agreed in May to sell its 56 percent stake in Tenke, one of the world's largest copper mines, to China Molybdenum Co Ltd (CMOC) for $2.65 billion.

Toronto-based Lundin Mining, which holds a 24 percent stake, has until Sept. 15 to exercise its right of first offer before any deal goes through.

Gecamines, which controls the remaining 20 percent, and Congolese authorities have objected to the sale, which they were not informed of beforehand.

Congo's mines minister said in May that he suspected Freeport was hiding its true value.

Freeport did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.

It has previously said the transaction was conducted transparently and in accordance with all applicable laws.

"For us, it's a matter of setting up a new joint venture with new partners to facilitate the exit of Freeport and reassure the state and the workers," Gecamines' interim director-general Jacques Kamenga told Reuters.   Continued...