August was a busy month for Jacobs Engineering Group, which announced on August 7 that it had sold its iron ore pelletizing intellectual property and other assets to Metso. Officials did not disclose the terms of the agreement, but confirmed the transaction between Jacobs and Metso had closed. A day later, it received a large contract to provide engineering services to Chile’s Codelco for a 200,000-mt/y copper project.

                Jacobs and Metso previously shared interests in the straight-grate iron ore pelletizing business, with Jacobs providing process engineering and Metso furnishing machine design. Jacobs and Metso perceived an opportunity to streamline their offerings to customers by consolidating ownership within Metso through the asset sale. Metso, which currently offers the grate kiln iron ore pelletizing system, said that with the purchase of the straight grate technology from Jacobs, it now is the only global supplier of both systems. Metso said it will invest in ongoing technical development of both technologies.

                Jacobs said it plans to continue supporting Metso from its engineering centers in India and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, and to continue supporting customers with Balance of Plant (BOP) engineering and construction services for iron-ore pelletizing projects.

                Jacobs Group Vice President Andy Kremer said, “The sale is intended to facilitate further investment in and development of the technology, and to strengthen overall services to customers. Under the new arrangement, both Jacobs and Metso are well-positioned to benefit from anticipated growth in the iron ore and iron pellets business.”

                Under the terms of the contract with Codelco, Jacobs will provide engineering services for Phase II of Codelco’s Radomiro Tomic sulphides mine and a new, independent concentrator facility. The conventional concentrator will be equipped with two 40-ft SAG mills and four ball mills; in addition, the project will involve a 160-km desalinated water pipeline; booster stations; a desalination plant; a thickened tailings management facility; a 270-km concentrate transport pipeline; and power infrastructure.

                And in July, Jacobs—which reported revenues of more than $10 billion last year—said it received a five-year contract from Shell Canada Energy for front-end engineering design, engineering, procurement, construction support, commissioning support and related services for the Jackpine mine tailings and infrastructure program. Jackpine is one of two mines at Shell’s Albian Sands site near Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada. Officials did not disclose the contract value.

                Jacobs is delivering a portfolio of projects involving conceptual engineering of new technologies to consolidate tailings and meet environmental requirements.