A Democratic Republic of Congo court appointed an administrator to run the Tenke Fungurume copper project after accepting a petition by minority shareholder Gecamines in its latest attempt to disrupt Freeport McMoRan Inc’s sale of the mine.
The Commercial Court in the southeastern city of Lubumbashi ruled in favour of the petition that said the management at Tenke Fungurume mine (TFM), are “adopting behaviours harmful to the interests of the company,” according to a 2 December judgment signed by the court’s clerk, Jean-Paul N’Kulul Kabange Musoka.
“The functioning of the company is impossible,” according to the ruling. “The conditions required for the designation of a temporary administrator are amply met.”
Freeport last month completed the sale of its 56% stake in Tenke to China Molybdenum Co for $2.65 billion. In October, Gecamines began arbitration in Paris to block the sale, saying its rights to pre-empt any transaction under a 2005 shareholder accord had been overlooked.
Freeport, in turn, argued that Gecamines’ local rights did not apply because China Moly acquired the stake by buying a controlling share in Bermuda-based TF Holdings.