Lundin Mining to sell stake in Tenke mine owner for $1.14 billion

(Reuters) - Canada's Lundin Mining Corp LUN.TO said it would sell its indirect stake in TF Holdings Ltd to an affiliate of Chinese private-equity firm BHR Partners for about $1.14 billion in cash.

A view of processing facilities at Tenke Fungurume, a copper and cobalt mine 110 km (68 miles) northwest of Lubumbashi in Congo's copper-producing south, owned by miner Freeport McMoRan, Lundin Mining and state mining company Gecamines, January 29, 2013. REUTERS/Jonny Hogg

Bermuda-based TF Holdings owns an 80 percent interest in Tenke Fungurume Mining SA. Lundin owns an indirect 30 percent stake in TF Holdings, resulting in an effective 24 percent interest in Tenke.

The Canadian miner said it could also get up to $51.4 million based on the average prices of copper and cobalt during a 24-month period beginning Jan. 1, 2018.

Freeport McMoRan FCX.N holds a 56 percent stake in the Tenke Fungurume copper and cobalt mine, through its 70 percent stake in TF Holdings. Congo's state miner Gecamines owns the remaining 20 percent.

Lundin, which primarily produces copper, nickel and zinc, said in connection with the deal, it will waive its rights to acquire Tenke mine operator Freeport’s stake in TF Holdings.

In May, Freeport agreed to sell its majority stake in the Tenke mine to China Molybdenum Co 603993.SS for $2.65 billion to reduce debt.

Lundin had no option but to either allow the China Moly deal to proceed, supplant the offer, or sell its stake.

Lundin’s agreement to sell its stake comes on the deadline it was given to exercise its right to first offer, after which Freeport said the sale to China Moly would go through.

Tenke Fungurume, in the southern Congolese copper belt, is one of the world’s largest copper deposits.

BMO Capital Markets is the financial adviser to Lundin Mining, while Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP and Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP are acting as legal advisers.

Reporting by Gaurika Juneja in Bengaluru; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier