Antofagasta Minerals (AMSA) has given an A$420m ($303m) contract extension to mining services provider Thiess to continue operations at its Encuentro Oxides copper mine in Chile.

Encuentro Oxides copper mine in Chile

Image: Thiess wins contract extension for Encuentro Oxides copper mine in Chile. Photo: courtesy of Thiess.

In 2015, the CIMIC Group subsidiary was given a four-year contract worth $137m to provide mining services for the open pit copper mine, located in the Antofagasta Region, in the Sierra Gorda District in northern Chile.

The Chilean copper mine has an estimated average production of 50,000 tonnes of copper cathode per year.

As per the terms of the four-year contract extension, Thiess will carry out various tasks such as drilling, mobile equipment maintenance, load and haul and mine services.

CIMIC Group CEO Michael Wright said: “It’s great to see Thiess continuing their work at the Encuentro project and building on the strong relationship they’ve established with AMSA over the past three years.

“This contract reinforces the team’s engagement with and understanding of the client to ensure they are delivering the best solutions possible.”

AMSA is planning to make future improvements at the Encuentro Oxides copper mine which include investment in maintenance infrastructure and a fleet management system. The copper-focused mining group also intends to transfer short-term mine planning responsibilities of the Chilean copper mine to Thiess.

CIMIC Group mining and mineral processing executive and Thiess managing director Douglas Thompson 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 AMSA.”

In another part of the world, in Australia, Thiess announced an A$190m ($136.85m) contract from BHP Nickel West to continue providing mining services at Leinster underground nickel mine located in Western Australia.

In July, the mining services provider won an A$480m ($353.7m) contract extension from QCoal to continue operations at the QCoal Northern Hub in the Bowen Basin in Australia.