Freeport-McMoRan sells mining stake for $2.65 billion

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Freeport-McMoRan Inc. will sell its stake in TF Holdings Limited to a Chinese mining company for $2.65 billion as it continues to cut costs and sell assets in order to reduce its debt.

The sale to China Molybdenum Co. unloads its interest in one of the world’s largest copper and cobalt mines, located in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Freeport-McMoRan is also in negotiations with China Molybdenum to sell its interest in Freeport Cobalt, including the Kokkola Cobalt Refinery in Finland, for $100 million and the Kisanfu Exploration project in the Democratic Republic of Congo for $50 million.

Phoenix-based Freeport-McMoRan is in the process of cutting about 25 per cent of its oil and gas workforce as part of a move that also involves selling assets. In a statement, the company said it has moved to sell $4 billion in assets since the start of 2016.

The sale of its stake in TF Holdings is expected to close in the fourth quarter. It will use the proceeds to repay debt.

Shares of Freeport-McMoRan fell $1.11, or 9.4 per cent, to $10.68 in afternoon trading. Its shares have fallen 54 per cent over the past year.