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Freeport-McMoran Not for Sale: CEO

Thursday, 19 Apr 2012 | 4:44 PM ET

Copper miner Freeport-McMoran isn't for sale, and won't be buying any of its competitors anytime soon, CEO Richard Adkerson told CNBC Thursday.

Copper coil
Comstock Images | Getty Images
Copper coil

"We're not going to comment on speculation" that several competitors, including Rio Tinto and BHP Billitonmight make a play for Freeport, he told Closing Bell.

Earlier Thursday, Freeport reported first-quarter earnings that fell 49 percent, in part because of the impact of a long but recently ended strike at its Indonesian mine.

Speculation, said Adkerson, "has been a feature of our business forever. Natural resources are short. Companies in our industry have strong balance sheets and strong cash flows. Trying to find new deposits is a challenge. We have great assets."

FCX CEO on Mining in Volatile Markets
Richard Adkerson, Freeport-McMoRan CEO, discusses the impact the Grasberg strike had on his company and whether a vulnerability exists amid takeover speculation.

At the same time, Freeport isn't looking to buy to get another company's resources.

"We're really focused on growing our own business, creating value for our shareholders," he said. Making an acquisition for defensive purposes is "not a good way to create value for shareholders."

He added, "We look at the market. We're prepared to act opportunistically, but we have a very large base of reserves and resources, which gives us near-term, mid-term and long-term growth opportunities organically."

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