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Newmont says Las Bambas comments were 'misrepresented'

Gary Goldberg, CEO of Newmont Mining Corp, speaks at the Denver Gold Forum industry conference in Denver September 24, 2013. REUTERS/Rick Wi
Gary Goldberg, CEO of Newmont Mining Corp, speaks at the Denver Gold Forum industry conference in Denver September 24, 2013. REUTERS/Rick Wi

(Reuters) - The Financial Times took comments from Newmont Mining Corp's chief executive out of context when it wrote that the U.S. gold miner had joined the race to buy Glencore Xstrata Plc's Las Bambas copper project, Newmont said on Tuesday.

"The FT story misrepresented the context and spirit in which our CEO responded to a question about Las Bambas," Newmont spokesman Omar Jabara said in an email.

"He only said that Las Bambas was 'interesting' and was speaking about it in a hypothetical context. He never said that we have 'joined the race' to buy Las Bambas," he said.

The Financial Times reported on Tuesday that Newmont was eyeing the project in Peru after Chief Executive Gary Goldberg called it "an interesting prospect."

The print edition of the FT said Newmont had "joined the race for" Las Bambas. On Tuesday afternoon the online version said it had "joined the ranks of miners interested in" the project.

A note said the story had been changed to "clarify that Newmont has not confirmed whether it has bid." A spokesman from the newspaper said it had no further comment.

Newmont's shares fell 3.8 percent to $27.03 on the New York Stock Exchange, slightly more than rivals Barrick Gold Corp and Goldcorp Inc , as the spot price of gold sank.

Takeovers made during boom times angered investors in mining companies because of the steep premiums paid. In recent months deals in the sector have slowed to a crawl.

But Newmont has not ruled out new deals and Goldberg said last week that he is open to adding more copper production.

(Reporting by Allison Martell; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson)

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