Codelco Chief Executive Officer Thomas Keller was asked to resign after his unyielding approach to cutting costs and preventing an output slide at the world’s biggest copper miner riled some board members and union leaders.
Codelco, engaged in a dispute with Anglo American Plc over the world’s fifth-largest copper mine, said its chief executive resigned in the same week as the companies resumed talks to seek an out-of-court settlement.
Copper, the worst performing major metal this year, is underpinned by prospects of a recovery in Chinese demand that will help counter increased supply, according to some of the world’s biggest producers.
The world’s biggest copper miners are urging Chile not to squander its mineral potential amid mounting environmental opposition, power shortages and rising labor costs and taxes in Latin America’s wealthiest economy.
Codelco, the world’s largest copper producer, appointed BHP Billiton Ltd.’s Diego Hernandez as chief executive officer as the state-owned company seeks to boost output for a second consecutive year amid Chile’s earthquake reconstruction efforts.
The world’s strongest earthquake in a year and hundreds of aftershocks rattled the copper-rich Atacama Desert last week, forcing almost a million people to seek refuge from tsunamis. The copper market barely reacted.
Codelco, the world’s largest copper producer, may seek bank loans to raise the $600 million it needs to finance expansions at its Chilean copper mines this year, Chief Executive Officer Diego Hernandez said.