Thiess commenced pre-strip operations at the site, located in the Antofagasta region of Chile, on July 1. 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.
Marcelino Fernández Verdes, executive chairman and CEO of CIMIC Group, 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.”
Michael Wright, managing director at Thiess, added: “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 Antofagasta Minerals on their Encuentro Oxides project. This announcement reflects positive alignment between Thiess’ 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 50,000t/y of copper cathode.