Jacobs Engineering has secured a contract to develop the $5.3bn Oyu Tolgoi underground copper and gold mine in Mongolia.
Oyu Tolgoi is jointly owned by the Government of Mongolia (34%) and Turquoise Hill Resources (66%). Out of this 66% share, Rio Tinto owns 51%.
Under the contract, the company will provide engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) services for the next stage in the mine development.
Jacobs is responsible for EPCM services to implement the materials handling systems for the new mine in addition to associated surface and underground infrastructure.
Set to be delivered over a five to seven year period, the project is expected to provide substantial employment and business opportunities in Mongolia.
The Oyu Tolgoi mine is located in the South Gobi region of Mongolia, 550km south of the capital Ulaanbaatar.
Last month, Rio Tinto and its partners in the Mongolian Government and Turquoise Hill Resources approved the expansion of the mine, with the necessary permits also in place.
Jacobs president and CEO Steve Demetriou said: "We are very proud to be associated with what is a landmark project for Oyu Tolgoi, Mongolia and the global mining landscape.
"The Oyu Tolgoi underground project is one of the largest mining projects worldwide. We are excited at the opportunity to contribute significant value to our client and the nation of Mongolia."
First draw bell production from Oyu Tolgoi is expected in 2020.
Production from the open-pit mine at Oyu Tolgoi commenced in 2013 and over 440,000t of copper has been sold since then.
Image: The Oyu Tolgoi mine is in the South Gobi region of Mongolia. Photo: courtesy of Rio Tinto.