China Moly to increase stake in Congo's Tenke copper mine to 80 percent

HONG KONG (Reuters) - China Molybdenum Co Ltd said on Friday it had agreed to buy a holding company for $1.14 billion in order to increase its control in Democratic Republic of Congo’s massive Tenke copper mine.

China Moly, already the majority owner of Tenke, will have an 80 percent stake in the mine after the acquisition of BHR Newwood DRC Holdings Ltd, a holding company set up by private equity firm BHR to buy a 24 percent stake in Tenke in 2017, China Moly said in a filing to the Shanghai stock exchange.

China Moly previously bought 56 percent stake in Tenke for $2.65 billion in 2016 from Freeport McMoRan Inc.

“The purchase will increase the company’s control in Tenke copper mine and further enhance company’s profitability and resilience,” China Moly said in the filing.

China Moly had assisted BHR in its purchase of the 24 percent stake in Tenke and as part of the deal, China Moly has the right to purchase BHR’s stake in the mine at a pre-agreed price if BHR left the project.

Congo’s state miner Gecamines holds 20 percent stake in Tenke, one of the world’s largest copper mines with proven and probable reserves of 3.8 million tonnes of contained copper.

Reporting by Meg Shen; editing by David Evans