Contract miner Thiess said it has been awarded its first project in the Americas, signing a $137 million services agreement for the Encuentro Oxides copper mine in Chile. Thiess was scheduled to commence pre-strip operations at the site, located in the Antofagasta Region of Chile, in July. The four-year project will be delivered in partnership with rental specialist Emeco, which will provide mining and ancillary fleet equipment to support the contract. The copper mine and nearby processing facility is owned by Antofagasta Minerals.

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 mt/y of copper cathode.