African firm Aveng Moolmans has been awarded an open pit mining contract worth R1.35bn ($167m) for the Tshipi Borwa manganese mine project in South Africa.

Aveng has received the contract from Jupiter Mines‘ joint venture Tshipi é Ntle Manganese Mining for a period of 54 months.

The scope of work will include removal of overburden and the drilling, blasting and hauling of manganese ore at the project.

Tshipi é Ntle will retain ownership of the project in addition to responsibility of other key aspects such as mine planning and surveying.

Site mobilisation is expected to start in early November 2011 and the pre-stripping operations will commence in late November 2011.