Chile: To Have and to Own

The Anaconda Co., the world's biggest copper producer, refused two years ago to sell Chile any portion of its huge Chuquicamata and El Salvador mines, the source of 61% of the company's annual production and half of its earnings. Since then, the Latin American political winds have shifted. Last week Anaconda management decided that paid-for nationalization of the two mines, offered by moderate President Eduardo Frei, was better than the outright expropriation that Chilean leftists were demanding.

The company agreed to sell Chile 51% of its mines on next Jan. 1 for about $200 million. The remainder is to be...

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