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Freeport-McMoRan paid Congo's Gecamines $33 million to settle Tenke dispute

KINSHASA (Reuters) - Freeport-McMoRan Inc <FCX.N> paid $33 million to resolve claims brought against it by Congo state miner Gecamines over the sale of its majority stake in the Tenke copper mine to China Molybdenum Co Ltd (CMOC) <603993.SS>, it said in a statement.

The settlement, revealed in the company's fourth quarter 2016 earnings statement, ends actions including a complaint before the International Chamber of Commerce, Freeport-McMoRan said. CMOC purchased the 56 percent stake in May for $2.65 billion.

Congo's mines minister said on Sunday that Gecamines, which owns a 20 percent stake in Tenke, had dropped its objections to CMOC's purchase as well as Chinese private equity firm BHR's November purchase of Lundin Mining's 24 percent stake.

Last week, the Atlanta-based Carter Center called on the government to publish details about compensation received by Gecamines as part of any settlement.

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The mines minister and Gecamines representatives could not be immediately reached for comment on Thursday. CMOC declined to comment on whether it had made any payment to Gecamines.

Tenke is one of the world's largest copper mines with proven and probable reserves of 3.8 million tonnes of contained copper.

(Reporting by Aaron Ross; Writing by Joe Bavier; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

 
 
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