December 9, 2016 / 12:54 PM / 2 years ago

UPDATE 1-Congo blocks Tenke mine administrator appointment

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KINSHASA, Dec 9 (Reuters) - The appointment of a temporary administrator to run the Tenke copper mine has been blocked by an appeals body, the mine said on Friday, removing a hurdle to a takeover by China Molybdenum.

China Molybdenum agreed in May to pay $2.65 billion for a 56 percent stake in the mine owned by Freeport McMoRan.

However, state miner and minority shareholder Gecamines challenged the sale, saying its right to buy the stake was not respected, and called for a temporary administrator to be appointed.

Tenke said that the order appointing an administrator to run the mine for six months had been suspended by the General Inspectorate of Judicial and Prison Services on Tuesday “due to substantive irregularities in the legal process”.

Gecamines declined to comment immediately on Tenke’s statement. The company, which holds a 20 percent stake in Tenke, one of the world’s largest copper mines, says it is challenging the sale at the International Court of Arbitration in Paris.

Toronto-based Lundin Mining announced a deal last month to sell its 24 percent stake in Tenke to a Chinese private equity firm. Gecamines said it objected to that sale too. (Reporting by Aaron Ross; editing by Jason Neely and Adrian Croft)

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