Thiess bolsters Encuentro copper contract with $420m extension

Image: Thiess

Thiess has been awarded a $420 million contract extension by Antofagasta Minerals to continue its operations at the Encuentro open pit copper mine in northern Chile.

The contract renewal adds four years to CIMIC-owned Thiess’s operations at the site, including drilling, load and haul, mobile equipment maintenance and mine services.

This extension will help support Antofagasta Minerals’ planned improvements at the copper mine, including the latter’s investment in maintenance infrastructure, a fleet management system and transfer to Thiess of short-term mine planning responsibilities.

CIMIC Group chief executive Michael Wright said, “Since commencing operations in 2015, we have moved over 70 million cubic metres, a first for Thiess in South America.

“This has been possible through the team’s focus on efficiency and productivity and working collaboratively with our client. We look forward to continuing this level of service for Antofagasta Minerals.”

Earlier this month, Thiess won the National Geology and Mining Service Award for its safety performance from the Chilean government.

The Encuentro project is in the Antofagasta region of the Sierra Gorda district, 2300 metres above sea level.

Encuentro oxides will contribute to the production of 50,000 tonnes (t) of copper cathode every year, and has a mine life of around 15 years.

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