SANTIAGO, June 5 (Reuters) - Codelco chief executive Thomas Keller said in an interview published on Thursday that he would not be prepared to remain in his post should his views be at odds with the company’s board, stirring doubts over his future with the state-run copper firm.
Keller took the reins of Codelco, the world’s largest copper producer, in 2012 during the former conservative administration of Sebastian Pinera.
After center-left President Michelle Bachelet took office, she appointed three new members to the board. One of their duties is to decide whether Keller should remain at the company’s helm.
The board is expected to meet in order to decide on the CEO role by Friday, local media reported.
“I am not ready to continue in this role should my vision, my criteria and the way in which I think we have to implement Codelco’s strategy not align with the board’s vision,” said Keller in an interview with local newspaper El Mercurio.
“I have a very clear vision and the truth is I am not convinced that vision and those criteria are shared by the board.”
Codelco, which produces around 10 percent of the world’s copper supply, plans to invest roughly $30 billion on new mines and expansions of old mines to counter dwindling ore grades. However, Keller said that “there could be different opinions” on the way those projects should be implemented.
Tensions have often run high between mining unions and Keller, who has been seen as a tough negotiator.
Codelco declined to comment on the newspaper report. (Reporting by Rosalba O‘Brien and Anthony Esposito)