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Charles F. Barber​
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Charles F. Barber was a top executive at leading U.S. metals producer Asarco from 1956 to 1982. He joined Asarco as General Counsel in 1956 and was elected Executive Vice President in 1963 and President in 1969. He served as Chairman and CEO from 1971 to 1982. During his tenure, Asarco responded successfully to the demanding requirements of new environmental legislation in the United States and to changing concepts of foreign investment in mining, especially in Latin America.​

During the 1970s, Southern Peru Copper Co., owned 51.5% and managed by Asarco, developed the trail-blazing, Cuajone copper project in Peru. Charles Barber took the lead in arranging the complex financing of more than $600 million for the project, which came into production in 1976.​

The Cuajone project itself was a joint venture between Southern Peru (88.5%) and Billiton, B.V. (11.5%), a Netherlands company, owned by the Royal Dutch Shell oil company. The other partners in Southern Peru were Cerro Corp. (22.25%), Phelps Dodge Corp. (16%), and Newmont Mining Corp. (10.25%). The financing arrangements included 54 major banks or financial institutions in Japan, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Europe; the Export Credit Guarantee Department of the United Kingdom; the Export-Import Bank of the United States; and the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank. The Cuajone mine is located at an elevation of 12,000 feet in the Peruvian Andes. Development included an open-pit mine, a 45,000-tons-per-day concentrator, and a 135-mile concentrate pipeline to the Ilo smelter on the coast. Infrastructure accounted for 50% of the total project cost. Charles Barber’s role in arranging financing for the Cuajone project had wide-ranging impacts beyond the project itself. The project was a template for things to come. It recognized the need for future investments in risky parts of the world. The word “gamble” was applied to the project, but it was a gamble tempered with calculation.​

Charles Barber was for many years an active participant in the work of the American Mining Congress and served for three years as its Chairman. In this capacity, he played a leading role in the mining industry’s response to demanding new environmental legislation.​

Charles Barber graduated from Northwestern University, Harvard Law School, and Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He served in the U.S. Navy for five years during World War II, including service as Aide and Flag Secretary to Admiral R.A. Spruance, Commander of the Fifth Fleet in the Pacific.​

In 1976, he was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws by the Montana College of Mineral Science and Technology. In 1981, he received the honorary degree of Doctor of Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines.​

Charles Barber was a noted author and lecturer and provided active leadership in numerous organizations concerned with education, the law, international relations, and the mining community. ​