Katanga Mining , which is developing Africa's biggest copper mine, said on Monday Arthur Ditto would resign as chief executive and that major shareholder Glencore Holdings would select his replacement.

Ditto's resignation, for personal reasons, takes effect July 10, but he offered to stay on beyond that date to ensure an orderly transition to a new CEO, the Toronto-listed mining company said in a statement.

Katanga said that Glencore had identified a candidate for the job, who would be considered by the nomination committee.

Glencore, a commodities trading company, holds an 8.5 percent stake in Katanga, which could rise to 12.4 percent under a convertible loan facility Glencore has with Katanga. Under an agreement, it has the right to nominate a replacement for Ditto.

Katanga's stock was up 70 Canadian cents, or 5 percent, at C$14.65 on the Toronto Stock Exchange, slightly outperforming shares of other base metals producers amid strong copper prices.

The stock is down 12 percent so far this year. I think this is neutral to slightly positive. It depends on who Glencore puts in. I'll reserve judgment until I see who it is, said Blackmont Capital analyst George Topping. Glencore are major shareholders in Katanga, and they're not likely to shoot themselves in the foot.

Katanga bought London-listed miner Nikanor last year for about $2.1 billion to consolidate the companies' copper and cobalt assets near the town of Kolwezi in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The company, which has targeted annual output of 300,000 tonnes of copper and 30,000 tonnes of cobalt by 2011, is refurbishing the Kamoto mine in the DRC. 

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