(Correcting spelling of Freeport McMoRan)-
KINSHASA Aug 17 U.S. miner Freeport McMoRan
Copper & Gold Inc. has agreed with Congolese authorities to pay
$16 million in fees and penalties in a settlement related to
procedures for getting visas and work permits for staff, the
company said on Monday.
Congo's top prosecutor told Reuters last week three
employees of Tenke Fungurume Mining (TFM), in which Freeport
(FCX.N) holds a majority, had been detained on suspicion of
embezzling millions of dollars in a visa and work permit scam in
the central African country.
"TFM has agreed to pay approximately $16 million in fees and
penalties associated with the settlement," Freeport spokesman
Bill Collier said in a statement.
"TFM is committed to maintaining compliance with all
applicable laws and regulations," he added.
Separately, Congolese deputy prime minister Emile Bongeli
told Reuters the affair would not affect a government review of
Tenke's contract relating to its project in Congo's Katanga
The mine is widely considered to be the largest and highest
grade undeveloped copper and cobalt project in the world.
(Reporting by Joe Bavier; Editing by Mark John and Richard