Global mining conglomerate BHP has appointed James Whittaker as president of the Escondida mine in Antofagasta Chile starting Sep 1.
Whittaker will be replacing Mauro Neves, who is taking over as president of BHP’s metallurgical coal operations in Queensland, Australia from Oct 1.
Whittaker has 30 years of experience in managing operations in the Americas first as executive general manager of Barrick Peru and then as general manager of the Veladero Mine in Argentina. He is familiar with the Antofagasta region as well after working there for Placer Dome in the mid-1990s. He served as the regional executive general manager at OceanaGold Corporation in the US before BHP appointed him to his latest position.
BHP’s Escondida mine, which it jointly owns with Rio Tinto, is the world’s largest copper mine. The companies reached a deal with striking workers at the mine during contract negotiations last week, allaying concerns over supply tightness of the red metal if the strike had continued and impacted the mine’s production targets.