Chile’s Codelco incoming boss in England to restart talks with Anglo

Chile’s Codelco new CEO, Thomas Keller, has traveled to London this week to hold talks with global miner Anglo American (LON:ALL), hoping to resolve a multi-billion dollar contract dispute between the parties, reports America Economia.

Sources from Codelco confirmed to MINING.com that the executive is out of the country but declined to give away any further details.

The world largest copper producer and Anglo are engaged in a bitter conflict over contracts affecting the diversified miner’s division in the South of Chile, home for the world’s fifth largest copper mine.

Last week, the parties agreed to put on hold their legal battle until June 22 to explore the chance of reaching an agreement. A day after this announcement, Codelco CEO Diego Hernandez resigned claiming “personal reasons,” which gave room for speculations.

The clash between Anglo American and Codelco goes back to November last year, when the copper giant decided to exercise an option and Anglo American responded by selling a 24.5% stake in its southern Chilean division to Japan’s Mitsubishi Corp. for $5.39 billion. By doing this, Anglo undermined plans by Codelco to exercise its option, something that copper miner would only have been able to do in January.

A failed attempt by Codelco to force Mitsubishi to hand over the particulars of the deal in December drove the Chilean company back to the courts by formally informing Anglo American that it was “exercising its legal option” to buy the contested 49% in Anglo Sur.

If an agreement is not possible, then Chilean courts will have to settle the conflict.

Anglo American is one of Chile’s largest foreign investors.