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Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. To Acquire Plains Exploration & Production Company And McMoRan Exploration Co. In Transactions Totaling $20 Billion, Creating A Premier U.S. Based Natural Resource Company

ABOUT FREEPORT-McMoRan COPPER & GOLD

FCX is a leading international mining company with headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona. FCX operates large, long-lived, geographically diverse assets with significant proven and probable reserves of copper, gold and molybdenum. FCX has a dynamic portfolio of operating, expansion and growth projects in the copper industry and is the world's largest producer of molybdenum.

FCX's portfolio of assets includes the Grasberg minerals district in Indonesia, the world’s largest copper and gold mine in terms of recoverable reserves; significant mining operations in the Americas, including the large-scale Morenci minerals district in North America and the Cerro Verde and El Abra operations in South America; and the Tenke Fungurume minerals district in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Additional information about FCX is available on FCX's website at " www.fcx.com."

ABOUT PLAINS EXPLORATION & PRODUCTION COMPANY

PXP is an independent oil and gas company primarily engaged in the activities of acquiring, developing, exploring and producing oil and gas in California, Texas, Louisiana, and the Deepwater Gulf of Mexico. PXP is headquartered in Houston, Texas.

ABOUT McMoRan EXPLORATION CO.

McMoRan Exploration Co. is an independent public company engaged in the exploration, development and production of natural gas and oil in the shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico Shelf and onshore in the Gulf Coast area. Additional information about MMR is available on its internet website “ www.mcmoran.com”.

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements concerning the proposed transaction, its financial and business impact, management’s beliefs and objectives with respect thereto, and management’s current expectations for future operating and financial performance, based on assumptions currently believed to be valid. Forward-looking statements are all statements other than statements of historical facts. The words “anticipates,” “may,” “can,” “plans,” “believes,” “estimates,” “expects,” “projects,” “intends,” “likely,” “will,” “should,” “to be,” and any similar expressions or other words of similar meaning are intended to identify those assertions as forward-looking statements. It is uncertain whether the events anticipated will transpire, or if they do occur what impact they will have on the results of operations and financial condition of FCX, MMR, PXP or of the combined company. These forward-looking statements involve significant risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated, including but not limited to the ability of the parties to satisfy the conditions precedent and consummate either or both of the proposed transactions, the timing of consummation of either or both of the proposed transactions, the ability of the parties to secure regulatory approvals in a timely manner or on the terms desired or anticipated, the ability of FCX to integrate the acquired operations, the ability to implement the anticipated business plans following closing and achieve anticipated benefits and savings, and the ability to realize opportunities for growth. Other important economic, political, regulatory, legal, technological, competitive and other uncertainties are identified in the documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) by FCX, MMR and PXP from time to time, including their respective Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, and Current Reports on Form 8-K. The forward-looking statements including in this press release are made only as of the date hereof. Neither FCX, MMR nor PXP undertakes any obligation to update the forward-looking statements included in this press release to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.

Additional Information about the Proposed Transactions and Where to Find It

PXP Transaction

In connection with the proposed transaction, FCX intends to file with the SEC a registration statement on Form S-4 that will include a proxy statement of PXP that also constitutes a prospectus of FCX. FCX and PXP also plan to file other relevant documents with the SEC regarding the proposed transaction. INVESTORS ARE URGED TO READ THE PROXY STATEMENT/PROSPECTUS AND OTHER RELEVANT DOCUMENTS FILED WITH THE SEC IF AND WHEN THEY BECOME AVAILABLE, BECAUSE THEY WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION. You may obtain a free copy of the proxy statement/prospectus (if and when it becomes available) and other relevant documents filed by FCX and PXP with the SEC at the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov . You may also obtain these documents by contacting FCX’s Investor Relations department at (602) 366-8400 or via e-mail at ir@fmi.com ; or by contacting PXP’s Investor Relations department at (713) 579-6291, or via email at investor@pxp.com .

FCX and PXP and their respective directors and executive officers and other members of management and employees may be deemed to be participants in the solicitation of proxies in respect of the proposed transaction. Information about FCX’s directors and executive officers is available in FCX’s proxy statement dated April 27, 2012, for its 2012 Annual Meeting of Stockholders. Information about PXP’s directors and executive officers is available in PXP’s proxy statement dated April 13, 2012, for its 2012 Annual Meeting of Stockholders. Other information regarding the participants in the proxy solicitation and a description of their direct and indirect interests, by security holdings or otherwise, will be contained in the proxy statement/prospectus and other relevant materials to be filed with the SEC regarding the merger when they become available. Investors should read the proxy statement/prospectus carefully when it becomes available before making any voting or investment decisions. You may obtain free copies of these documents from FCX or PXP using the sources indicated above.

This document shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities, nor shall there be any sale of securities in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such jurisdiction. No offering of securities shall be made except by means of a prospectus meeting the requirements of Section 10 of the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended.

MMR Transaction

In connection with the proposed transaction, the royalty trust formed in connection with the transaction will file with the SEC a registration statement on Form S-4 that will include a proxy statement of MMR that also constitutes a prospectus of the royalty trust. FCX, the royalty trust and MMR also plan to file other relevant documents with the SEC regarding the proposed transaction. INVESTORS ARE URGED TO READ THE PROXY STATEMENT/PROSPECTUS AND OTHER RELEVANT DOCUMENTS FILED WITH THE SEC IF AND WHEN THEY BECOME AVAILABLE, BECAUSE THEY WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION. You may obtain a free copy of the proxy statement/prospectus (if and when it becomes available) and other relevant documents filed by FCX, the royalty trust and PXP with the SEC at the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov . You may also obtain these documents by contacting FCX’s Investor Relations department at (602) 366-8400, or via e-mail at ir@fmi.com ; or by contacting MMR’s Investor Relations department at (504) 582-4203, or via email at ir@fmi.com .

FCX and MMR and their respective directors and executive officers and other members of management and employees may be deemed to be participants in the solicitation of proxies in respect of the proposed transaction. Information about FCX’s directors and executive officers is available in FCX’s proxy statement dated April 27, 2012, for its 2012 Annual Meeting of Stockholders. Information about MMR’s directors and executive officers is available in MMR’s proxy statement dated April 27, 2012, for its 2012 Annual Meeting of Stockholders. Other information regarding the participants in the proxy solicitation and a description of their direct and indirect interests, by security holdings or otherwise, will be contained in the proxy statement/prospectus and other relevant materials to be filed with the SEC regarding the merger when they become available. Investors should read the proxy statement/prospectus carefully when it becomes available before making any voting or investment decisions. You may obtain free copies of these documents from FCX or MMR using the sources indicated above.

This document shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities, nor shall there be any sale of securities in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such jurisdiction. No offering of securities shall be made except by means of a prospectus meeting the requirements of Section 10 of the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended.

Copyright Business Wire 2010
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