Canada’s Lundin Mining said it has sold its stake in the Tenke copper mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo to a Chinese private equity firm for $1.14bn.
The company will sell its 30 per cent stake in a Bermuda-based vehicle that owns 80 per cent of the Tenke copper and cobalt asset to BHR Partners, an arm of state-backed Bohai Industrial Investment Fund. In addition, Lundin will receive up to $51.4m over 24 months if copper and cobalt prices exceed certain targets, write Henry Sanderson and Neil Hume.
The deal is subject to completion of a sale of the remaining stake in the vehicle by US miner Freeport-McMoran. In May Freeport agreed to sell its stake in Tenke for $2.65bn to China Molybdenum, a Chinese natural resources group.
The deal has yet to close after Congo’s state-owned miner Gecamines, which also has a stake in Tenke, filed a complaint against Freeport at an international arbitration court. Freeport has said the complaint has no legal basis because the transaction is between two shareholders in an offshore vehicle.
Lundin had a “right of first offer” over Freeport’s stake in the mine, but decided not to exercise it after months of deliberation. Lundin has been involved with the Tenke asset for 20 years, it said.
Separately, Gecamines was accused by London-based campaign group Global Witness of signing over the royalty rights to its most lucrative mining project to an offshore company belonging to a friend of the president.
“The state mining company should be trying to make money for the Congolese people, but here it is signing away its rights to potentially huge royalties,” said Global Witness in a statement.
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