Luksic stands down as Antofagasta chairman

Andronico Luksic has, apparently, always had a great sense of timing and yesterday he announced it was the right moment to step down as chairman of the copper miner Antofagasta, at the age of 78.

Mr Luksic, the son of a Croatian who emigrated to Chile in 1910, turned an obscure company that listed in London in 1888 into a FTSE 100 group, worth £2bn. He will hand over to his youngest son, Jean-Paul, 40, who has been deputy chairman.

The family stake in the company is 65 per cent but Andronico Luksic and his children also have many other business interests, including 82 per cent of Quinenco, one of Chile's biggest business conglomerates; a chain of hotels in Croatia and thousands of acres of prime farm land in Chile and Argentina. Forbes, the US business magazine, ranks the family as 140th richest in the world, with a net worth of $3.4bn. Even this may be a conservative figure, given the value of the Antofagasta holding alone.

Philip Adeane, the managing director of Antofagasta, said: "Andronico thought it was a good time [to step down]. He's always had good timing. He's such a personality. He built up the group. It's really his baby."

Mr Luksic, who comes from the town of Antofagasta in Chile, trained as a lawyer but grew to love mining and geology. He started acquiring mining assets in Chile in the 1950s. He suffered a major setback in the 1970s when the country's left-wing Allende government nationalised many of his business interests. But after the Pinochet coup in 1973, Mr Luksic prospered again.

In 1980, Mr Luksic acquired, "very cheaply" according to Mr Adeane, a controlling stake in the Antofagasta and Bolivia Railway Company, then a poorly run business which owned a railway transporting metals from mines in Chile and Bolivia. It is possibly the oldest continuously listed company in London.

Mr Luksic took Antofagasta into actually owning mines and has run the group from Chile.

The company acquired Chile's Los Pelambres copper mine - the world's sixth largest - in 1986, again on the cheap, from Midland Bank, which had ended up owning the asset after a loan default.

Mr Adeane said he had not heard any indication from Mr Luksic that the family would reduce its holding. "He says there's not another share he'd rather own."

Antofagasta has benefited from the surge in copper prices, which have hit 16-year highs this year, on the back of booming world demand. Mr Adeane suggested the good conditions would continue.

"We don't think China's growth will suddenly fall down to 3 per cent. They have an insatiable appetite [for metals]. And India's not far behind. The demand is just huge," Mr Adeane said.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
Lou Reed distorted the truth about his upbringing, and since his death in 2013, biographers and memoirists have added to the myths
musicThe truth about Lou Reed's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths
News
people
News
Ed Miliband received a warm welcome in Chester
election 2015
Life and Style
Apple CEO Tim Cook announces the Apple Watch during an Apple special even
fashionIs the Apple Watch for you? Well, it depends if you want it for the fitness tech, or for the style
News
i100
News
Astronauts could be kept asleep for days or even weeks
scienceScientists are looking for a way to keep astronauts in a sleeplike state for days or weeks
Sport
Fabian Delph celebrates his goal
footballChristian Benteke and Fabian Delph turn semi-final after Liverpool goal
Life and Style
Model wears: top £29.50, leggings £25, jacket £29.50, bag £25, all marksandspencer.com
fashion
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
The new-look Top of the Pops could see Fearne Cotton returns as a host alongside Dermot O'Leary
music
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

Ashdown Group: IT Manager / Development Manager - NW London - £58k + 15% bonus

£50000 - £667000 per annum + excellent benefits : Ashdown Group: IT Manager / ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant / Telemarketer - OTE £20,000

£13000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Scotland's leading life insuran...

Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manager - City, London

£40000 - £45000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manag...

Day In a Page

Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace