Freeport-McMoRan Inc. shares rose about 4% in premarket trading Tuesday, after the copper miner announced plans to shrink its board and start a review of its oil and gas business. The company said it is reducing the size of its board to nine members from 16, comprising seven independent directors plus two executive directors. It will also scrap its Office of the Chairman management structure. Separately, the company will review its oil and gas business with a view to either spinning it off, entering a joint venture or further cutting costs. The business's "high quality asset base, substantial underutilized Deepwater Gulf of Mexico infrastructure, large inventory of low risk development opportunities and talented and experienced personnel and management team" offer opportunities to add value, the company said. The company is aiming to focus on its core copper mining business and is confident that copper prices will hold up given global demand and supply fundamentals. Shares have fallen 52% in the year so far, while the S&P 500 has lost 3.4%.
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