SNC-Lavalin has been awarded a contract by Compania Minera del Pacífico S.A. (CAP Mineria) to provide overall management, detailed engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services for a thickened mine tailings disposal system at the Cerro Negro Norte iron ore project in Chile. SNC-Lavalin’s portion of the EPC reimbursable contract is estimated at more than US$50 million.

Cerro Negro Norte project is located 60 km north of Copiapo city in the Atacama Desert, one of the driest places in the world. The mine will produce 20,000 metric tons of tailings per day, which will be treated with SNC-Lavalin’s in-house thickened tailings disposal technology. The technology will allow the tailings to be stored safely and recover about 98% of water, an extremely scarce resource in the region.

“This award is an important part of our Sustainable Mine Development program in Chile and other parts of the world,” said Feroz Ashraf, executive vice president, SNC-Lavalin Group. “The use of our thickened tailings technology provides better protection to the environment, and offers energy savings and seismic assurances. This award reiterates our commitment to the sustainable development of mining and metallurgical projects worldwide.”

The Engineering phase has been completed by SNC-Lavalin’s Santiago office, and initial infrastructure construction activities are scheduled to start in October 2012. Mechanical completion of the project is expected by the third quarter 2013.