Congo seeking arbitration over Freeport McMoRan mine sale

|By:, SA News Editor

The Democratic Republic of Congo has turned to international arbitration in a bid to force Freeport McMoRan (NYSE:FCX) and Lundin Mining (OTCPK:LUNMF) to restructure terms of any exit from one of the country’s biggest mines.

State-owned mining company Gecamines has filed a complaint with the International Court of Arbitration in Paris, demanding that any change to the indirect ownership of the Tenke Fungurume mine be blocked unless authorized by the state miner.

FCX plans to sell 56% of the copper and cobalt mine to China Molybdenum for $2.65B, and partner Lundin has a right of first offer on the sale; Gecamines, which owns 20% of the mine, objects to the sale because it was not informed in advance and that its rights to either pre-empt or participate in the deal had been overlooked.