Chile’s Corporacion del Cobre Nacional (Codelco) announced that its highly respected Chairman, Diego Hernandez, tendered his resignation effective June 1. He cited personal reasons as the reason for his decision. Some analysts are now speculating on Codelco’s ability to achieve its ambitious copper growth initiatives.

Codelco has appointed Thomas Keller Lippold, current vice president of administration and finance, as the new CEO. Thomas Keller, 55, is a commercial engineer from Adolfo Ibañez University (Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez) and has an MBA from Chicago University. He participated actively in the development and operation of the Collahuasi project, initially as vice president of finance and then as CEO for five years. Keller joined Codelco in mid-2010 and has been working on the strategic reformulation of the company headed by Hernández. Among his many achievements, the biggest was the structuring of financing operations to acquire the option of Codelco in Anglo American Sur.