Chile's Codelco president ousted over loss fears

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Associated Press

Posted on June 6, 2014 at 3:35 PM

Updated Friday, Jun 6 at 3:37 PM

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — The board of Chile's state-owned mining company has fired its president, citing irreconcilable differences over the future of the world's biggest copper producer.

Codelco President Thomas Keller was ousted Friday after telling the Chilean newspaper El Mercurio he and the directors don't share the same vision, and that he's "not prepared to make investments where Chileans will lose money."

Codelco is hugely important to Chile's government revenue and economy, and it faces tough choices as copper prices fall from historic highs. Keller told the paper that promised profits aren't possible given current salaries, health care and other benefits. He planned $600 million in cuts just as unions press for more.

Codelco's new board president is socialist economist Oscar Landerretche. He said Keller was fired in a disagreement over Codelco's future.

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