| TORONTO, Sept 15
TORONTO, Sept 15 Canadian base metals miner
Lundin Mining Corp has won a two week extension until
Sept. 29 to bid on Freeport-McMoRan Inc's stake in the
Tenke Fungurume copper and cobalt mine, Lundin said in a
statement on Thursday.
Lundin, previously granted an extension to Sept. 15, said it
continues to review, with legal and financial advisors, its
ownership in the Democratic Republic of Congo mine, one of the
world's largest copper deposits.
The Toronto-based company would not comment on why it needs
more time, but director of business valuations and investor
relations Mark Turner repeated that Lundin has credible interest
from multiple parties on a number of scenarios.
Lundin, which primarily produces copper, nickel and zinc,
has a 24 percent share of Tenke, while Freeport holds 56 percent
and Congo's state miner Gecamines has the remaining 20 percent.
Phoenix-based Freeport, which has been selling assets to cut
its large debt load, agreed in May to sell its Tenke stake to
China Molybdenum (CMOC) for $2.65 billion.
Under a 'right of first offer', Lundin can supplant any bids
for the mine by matching them. It can also decide to sell its
stake or do nothing and allow the China Moly deal to proceed.
Lundin, which has hired Bank of Montreal to help it consider
options, told Reuters in June that it was weighing interest from
RBC analyst Fraser Phillips said Lundin is most likely to
maintain its 24-percent interest, with China Moly operating the
mine. The next likely scenario is that Lundin sells its stake,
but with a lower valuation than Freeport, which held a
controlling interest, he wrote in a note to clients on Thursday.
The transaction size makes a counter-bid unlikely, some
analysts say. Lundin, whose shares rose 2 percent to C$5.08 on
the Toronto Stock Exchange on Thursday morning, has a market
capitalization of about C$3.59 billion ($2.72 billion).
($1 = 1.3177 Canadian dollars)
(Additional reporting by Nicole Mordant in Vancouver; Editing
by Chris Reese)