15 October 2010

Bob Haldeman Interview (38)

Our Mr. Milliken and Mr. Michaelson came down. I was 
called by Mr. Saez, who said, "Bob, we'd like to have a meeting 
with your men next week," so I set it up. He said, "I don't 
want to have it downtown; the reporters are all over the place." 

I said, "I'll take care of it. Don't worry." So we went 
way out to Las Condes and rented a house. We brought the cooks 
from our director's house in Sewell, two girls who had worked up 
there for forty years and could cook the most wonderful meals. 
Nobody knew. We had a telephone put in, and nobody knew the 
number. So we were to meet. 

My bosses came down, and I met them at the airport and got 
them to the hotel on the morning before the day of the meeting. 
We had lunch, and they hemmed and hawed. Then everybody took a 
little rest, and in the afternoon Frank called me in. He said, 
"I want to let you know what we're going to do tomorrow. We've 
come to the conclusion that 25 percent is just the same as 
having 1 percent, and 49 percent for them is the same as having 
1 percent; they'll always be a minority. At 50-50 you can't run 
a company. So we're going to sell them 51 percent. And this 
project of yours, going to a tunnel out there"--! called this 
the 280 Project; it was 280,000 tons of copper a year, and we 
were producing 180,000 tons. 

He said, "That idea, 280,000 tons per year, are you sure 
it's going to work?" 

I said, "Yes, it's going to work." 
Swent: This was the half-Codegua plan? 
Haldeman: Yes. He said, "We're going to propose that." 

They had done their homework and had never told me a single 
thing about what they were doing. I said, "That's fine, Mr. 
Milliken. Go right ahead." Here was this guy who told me that 
if he took it to the board they would fire him, and now he was 
telling me we were going to do it but in a spectacular way. 

We got to the meeting the next day at ten o'clock. We sat 
down and had a coke and a cup of coffee and so on. Raul Saez 
was master of ceremonies. He knew Milliken and Michaelson from 
before, as did Lagarrigue, so we were all on first names. Saez 
made a little pitch about what had happened before with Andina 
and Anaconda and what the president wanted, that he was not 
asking for something for nothing, blah, blah, blah. 

Javier went on about, "If you incorporate yourself, 
hopefully we could get some sales to be made by the companies in 
Chile, and they become Chilean companies. And we have your best 
interests at heart," and all this stuff and so on.

Center of cultural activities during the hey-day of copper mining at the ghost town of Sewell, Chile     (click for larger image)

Index to Haldeman Interview

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