Freeport-McMoRan slashes capital spending, to divest stake in Indonesian unit

Freeport-McMoRan slashes capital spending, to divest stake in Indonesian unit

Freeport McMoRan copper and gold Grasberg mine, in Indonesia.

Freeport-McMoRan (NYSE:FCX), the U.S. largest miner by market value and revenue, has slashed its capital budget for the year, while seeks funding for its natural oil and gas projects as the miner tries to protect itself from plunging commodity prices.

The Phoenix-based company, one of the world’s largest copper producers, said Tuesday it plans to spend about $6 billion on mining and oil and gas projects this year, less than the $7.5 billion it forecast last year.

Freeport added that it is taking “aggressive actions” to defer or cut its spending for the year, already reduced by $2 billion, and that it is prepared to make further cuts.

The miner, which owns the massive copper and gold Grasberg mine in Indonesia, also said it will begin divesting its stake in subsidiary PT Freeport Indonesia in October, according to The Jakarta Post. Both companies have drawn up an agreement that will allow the copper giant to resume exports.

Freeport, which operates in the Americas, Africa and Indonesia, had a fourth-quarter net loss of $2.85 billion, or $2.75 a share, which compares with a profit of $707 million, or 68 cents, a year earlier. The quarter included a $3.4 billion cost related to the impairment of its oil and gas properties.

Shares in the company were down 5.47% to $18.49 at 11:19 am ET.

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