The changes announced on Friday will begin from Nov. 1 and focus on streamlining management and resources, “ensuring a sense of urgency in productive areas and prioritizing areas according to current challenges,” Codelco said in a statement.
The world’s biggest copper producer is also reassessing its costs structure at its mining projects, its chairman told Reuters in an interview on Friday.
The changes under Alvarado will include combining the vice-president roles for its FURE foundries and refineries segment into a single role, and creating a new vice presidency of mining resources, development and innovation.
Codelco’s outgoing finance chief Alejandro Rivera, whose resignation was announced on Thursday, will continue to be involved in the firm’s negotiations for state control over Chile’s lithium industry.
Chile’s government has tasked Codelco with negotiating public-private partnerships with state control for existing lithium miners SQM and Albemarle as well as new lithium operations in the Maricunga and Atacama salt flats.
In May, Codelco launched two subsidiaries to run the government’s lithium plans.
Codelco said Rivera, who has been closely involved with the company’s lithium strategy for years, would continue to be linked to negotiations with SQM and in the Maricunga salt flat “from outside Codelco, in a role that has yet to be defined.”
“Lithium is a strategic project for Codelco and the country, so it is an opportunity to have an executive of this level and trajectory on the negotiating team,” said a source linked to the negotiations, referring to Rivera.
Rivera will remain in office until Nov. 3. His resignation comes amid a credit rating downgrade and a growing debt load.
Alvarado was appointed after former CEO Andre Sougarret – a respected engineer who gained prominence leading the rescue of 33 trapped miners in 2010 – stepped down citing personal reasons and “complexities” in running the company.
(By Fabian Cambero, Brendan O’Boyle and Sarah Morland; Editing by Alexander Villegas and Kirsten Donovan)