SANTIAGO, July 23 Chile's Codelco, the No.1
copper producer in the world, said on Wednesday it would seek to
issue annual debt of around $1.7 billion to help it finance an
ambitious multi-year investment plan.
Codelco estimates it needs to invest an average
$4.5 billion annually over the next 5 years to upgrade its aging
deposits and counteract falling ore grades.
The board has agreed that a further $2 billion would come
from its own resources, amortization and depreciation, said
board head Oscar Landerretche in a speech to Congress on
The miner would request the remaining $800 million from the
government as part of its capitalization, he said, adding that
the figures were average and could fluctuate.
The nationalized miner gives all its profits to the state,
which then decides how much to return to it, exposing it to
government spending priorities. The government has promised a
capitalization law this year to give Codelco more long-term
visibility on funding.
Earlier this month, the company issued a 600 million euro
($810 million) 10-year bond. It has around $12 billion in bonds.
Landerretche is also leading the charge to nominate a new
chief executive, after former boss Thomas Keller was removed
He said on Wednesday that the board had evaluated more than
20 candidates from the mining industry and elsewhere and that it
was in the "final stages" of naming someone.
Codelco unions said on Wednesday that they may take "action"
if decisions on capitalization and the naming of the new CEO
were not made soon.
($1 = 0.7431 Euros)
(Reporting by Rosalba O'Brien and Fabian Cambero; Editing by