Thiess wins $137 million Chilean copper mine contract

Contract miner Thiess won a $137 million four-year contract for Antofagasta's Encuentro Oxides open pit copper mine in Chile.

Thiess will commence pre-strip operations at the site this month.

Encuentro Oxides deposit is located within the Centinela Mining District. Antofagasta expects the mine to produce an average of approximately 50,000 tonnes of copper cathode per year. First production is expected in the second half of 2016.

Here's the full news release from Thiess.

Thiess wins first americas contract award in Chile

Thiess has been awarded its first project in the Americas, signing a $137 million services agreement for the Encuentro Oxides open pit copper mine in Chile.

Thiess will commence pre-strip operations at the site, located in the Antofagasta Region of Chile, on 1 July 2015. The four-year project will be delivered in partnership with Emeco.

The copper mine and nearby processing facility is owned by Antofagasta Minerals, a copper-focused mining group with high-quality assets and a major portfolio of growth opportunities.

CIMIC Group Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Marcelino Fernández Verdes, said: “This project, the first venture for Thiess’s New Markets division, marks a significant milestone for Thiess as a global mining business. Through Thiess’s expert contract mining capabilities we plan to further diversify into new, reliable markets, including those in the Americas, to service the needs of clients such as Antofagasta Minerals (AMSA).”

Thiess Managing Director Michael Wright said: “Expanding Thiess’s strong mining service capabilities into the Americas, and leveraging our strong base in Australia and Asia, allows us to offer mining solutions to clients in the resource rich regions of North and South America, in addition to Africa where we currently work.

“We are pleased to have the opportunity to work with AMSA on their Encuentro Oxides Project. This announcement reflects positive alignment between Thiess’s global mining capabilities and the South American marketplace. We will seek to leverage this project as a first step for further growth in Chile and globally.”

Encuentro Oxides will produce an estimated average of 50,000 tonnes of copper cathode per year.