Pummeled by oil bets, Freeport and Teck get some crude reward

Teck Resources Ltd. and Freeport-McMoRan Inc. led a mining stock rally on Friday as surging oil prices provided relief for their foray into energy before prices tumbled.

Shares in Freeport surged 13 percent to $5.52 at 1:34 p.m. in New York, while Teck, Canada’s biggest diversified miner, jumped 20 percent to C$6.19 in Toronto. They were the best performers in the Bloomberg Americas Mining Index.

Freeport, the biggest publicly traded copper miner, invested heavily in oil and gas in 2013 with the acquisitions of McMoRan Exploration Co. and Plains Exploration & Production Co., swelling its debt just ahead of a downturn in energy prices. Teck has energy exposure through the proposed Frontier oil sands mine, and via a 20 percent ownership in the Fort Hills oil sands project, both in Northern Alberta.

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