Codelco chief resignation may smooth Anglo dispute
IRJ - May 25 - The resignation of Diego Hernández, chief executive of Codelco, could be positive for negotiations over the ownership of the Anglo Sur copper division in Chile. Hernández cited “personal reasons” for his departure and there were rumours that he had not been aligned with the rest of the company’s board. Finance director Thomas Keller will take on the chief executive role.
The move comes as Codelco and Anglo American agreed to restart talks over the ownership of assets in Chile, including Anglo’s Los Bronces mine.
“Codelco's previous stance taken very publically by their CEO was not particularly helpful given the scale of investment being made by Anglo into Los Bronces. Codelco need to grow their copper production but so do Anglo and there should be some middle ground in discussions,” said John Meyer, analyst at Fairfax.
Los Bronces capex is $2.8 billion with production expected to be at 278,000 tonnes of copper per year and full production anticipated in the third quarter this year. Codelco had tried to exercise an option to purchase 49 per cent of the Anglo Sur division, which includes the Los Bronces mine, but the move was blocked by Anglo American in an increasingly bitter dispute between the two mining giants.
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