Antofagasta Minerals CEO quits a week before 2011 results

In an surprising move, London-listed, Chilean copper producer Antofagasta PLC (LON:ANTO) announced that the chief executive of its copper division, Marcelo Awad, had agreed to quit.

His resignation came only a week before the company, controlled by Chile’s wealthy Luksic family, was scheduled to post its 2011 results.

"As part of the adjustments Antofagasta Minerals has been undergoing to face future challenges and consolidate and strengthen its operations and the development of its projects, Mr Marcelo Awad agreed to resign as CEO of the group before Antofagasta plc's board," the company said in a release.

Antofagasta, pursuing expand beyond Chile by buying early stage projects, failed in November to get a mining license for a $3.4 billion Pakistan copper and gold venture with Barrick Gold Corp. (TSE and NYSE:ABX).

The company will announce its results on Tuesday, March 13.