15 October 2010

Bob Haldeman Interview (35)

Cerro de Pasco Company; Andina Mine and Robert Koenig 

Haldeman: By this time there were three companies. Cerro de Pasco in 

Peru, in 1958 and 1959, decided they were going to open up the 
mine called Andina in Los Andes. It's about 80 kilometers north 
of here. The ore body was known for years, and they got the 
property claimed and bought it out. The mill is underground; 
it's way up, at about 3,500 meters but in an area that is very 
precipitous terrain, a lot of snow and snow slides and 
everything. Well, they decided they would go underground, and 
they built the mill underground. The mine is block caving like 
El Teniente; it all goes to the surface. It has been quite 

Bob Roenig, the president of Cerro de Pasco, was just 
coming on stream with his property at that time. He was the 
only thing that Mr. Frei could show of a new investment. He 
said, "There were two companies, and now there are three- 
- Kennecott, Anaconda, and now the Cerro de Pasco Andina mine. 
I'm going to talk to all of you, and if I am elected- -which I 
know I will be--" as they all say. He said, "I hope you can 
understand me and help me out. I don't want something for 
nothing . " 

That was fine. I understood it very clearly. What he was
saying was that in the long haul, in each presidential term some
guy is going to want more and finally get control of the company
and buy it out. That was perfectly all right, because if
Allende got in, we would be taken over immediately. This might
be Gypsy Rose Lee's gimmick to keep you alive a little bit

I reported this to New York, and I also said that we had
some alternate schemes of expansion. The Codegua plan, that
enormous thing, would now have cost about $700 million. We took
a plan wherein we went in an intermediate level, at the smelter
level--5,000 feet and made a tunnel in there. From there down
we made a highway and got rid of the railroad. We abandoned the
camps of the smelter and Sewell and opened up from the smelter
down to the public; it was wide open. And of course we opened
up another thirty or forty years of ore.

The next step, whoever has it some years from now, will go
down to where we were at Codegua and do something, because it's
too costly to raise all that rock up and get it out to the

So it was a half a Codegua, if you want to put it that way,
which came out to about $240 million in cost. We had that plus
other things on the fire. But New York said, "No, we don't want
to go to the Codegua. To put in a billion dollars nowwe just
can't see the country that stable for that long a time to get
our money out." We were turned down once, so if they want it,
they can come back and ask for it.

We come to the elections, and Mr. Frei was elected by a
majority over 50 percent of the popular vote and he was put
into office.

Swent: He still didn't control Congress, though, did he?

Haldeman: No, he didn't control Congress. But in the way of things he had
enough splinter groups there that he was able to get major
legislation through without modifying it too much.

Index to Haldeman Interview

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