US-based Freeport-McMoRan (FCX) has signed a $2.65bn agreement to sell its interests in TF Holdings to China Molybdenum (CMOC).
TF Holdings indirectly owns an 80% interest in Tenke Fungurume Mining. FCX holds a 70% stake in TF Holdings and 56% interest in Tenke.
The company will also negotiate with CMOC to sign agreements to sell its interests in Freeport Cobalt, including Finland’s Kokkola Cobalt Refinery for $100m.
The news follows FCX’s signing an agreement in February to sell a 13% interest in its Morenci copper mine in Arizona, US, to Japan-based Sumitomo Metal Mining (SMM) for $1bn.
Kisanfu copper and cobalt exploration project near Tenke in Congo is 100%-owned by FCX and also planned to be sold for $50m.
FCX president and CEO Richard Adkerson said: "Since the start of 2016, we have announced over $4bn in asset sale transactions.
"We are confident that CMOC will continue to build on Tenke Fungurume’s past success and future development potential, and will continue a commitment to provide a safe, productive work environment and a sustainable future with substantial benefits to the Congolese Government and local community.
Since the inception of the Kisanfu project, Tenke has paid $1.5bn in taxes and related payments to the Public Treasury and other public administration services of Congo.
As of 31 December 2015, Tenke reported consolidated recoverable reserves totaling 7.2 billion pounds of copper and 874 million pounds of cobalt.
FCX hopes to close the TF Holdings transaction in the fourth quarter of 2016.