July 13, 2019 / 11:32 AM / a year ago

Chilean state miner Codelco taps 33-year company veteran as CEO

SANTIAGO, July 13 (Reuters) - Chile’s state-owned Codelco , the world’s top copper miner, has named Octavio Araneda, a mining engineer who has spent his entire 33-year career at the company, as its chief executive.

Araneda will replace Nelson Pizarro, another mining veteran, at the helm of Codelco from Sept. 1, the company said in a statement.

The 78-year-old Pizarro, who has spearheaded the expansion of the company´s sprawling Chuquicamata mine and is credited with cutting costs at the once-bloated miner, was widely expected to leave Codelco this year.

The transition comes at a defining moment for Codelco as it pushes forward with a 10 year, $40 billion plan to overhaul its flagship mines amid sharply falling ore grades and wavering markets.

Araneda was chosen unanimously by the board of directors, the statement said.

The University of Chile-educated miner began his career at Codelco in the company´s El Teniente division, home to one of the world´s largest, and oldest, copper mines. He is currently the company´s vice-president of southern operations. (Reporting by Dave Sherwood Editing by David Holmes)

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