October 19, 2016 / 7:37 AM / in 2 years

UPDATE 1-Congo miner challenges Freeport sale of Tenke mine in international court

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KINSHASA, Oct 19 (Reuters) - Democratic Republic of Congo state miner Gecamines has challenged Freeport McMoRan Inc’s sale of its majority stake in the country’s Tenke copper mine at the International Court of Arbitration in Paris, Gecamines said on Wednesday.

Gecamines Secretary-general Deogratias Ngele told Reuters that Gecamines had asserted a right of first offer following Freeport’s agreement 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.

He declined to provide further details about the complaint. Gecamines, which controls a 20 percent stake, has previously objected to Freeport’s sale, which it says it was not informed of beforehand.

Gecamines also said last month it had submitted an offer to buy Freeport’s majority stake without providing details.

Freeport did not respond to a request for immediate comment. It has previously denied that Gecamines has a right of first offer for Tenke.

Toronto-based Lundin Mining, which holds a 24 percent stake, has until Thursday to exercise its right of first offer before the sale to CMOC goes through. (Reporting by Aaron Ross; Editing by Jason Neely and Mark Potter)

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