Spanish construction and civil engineering company Obrascón Huarte Lain (OHL) has received a contract to provide support services at El Teniente Mine in Chile.

Awarded by the Corporación Nacional del Cobre (Codelco), the $20m contract will see OHL provide support services to operate and maintain the canal used for transport of slurry, tailings and industrial wastewater in the mine.

Under the contract, OHL will implement new research and development and innovation (R&D&I) technologies that are intended to improve the efficiency of service of the world’s largest underground copper mine.

Technologies to be used include drones to observe, monitor and inspect all activities of the tailings canal.

“Technologies to be used include drones to observe, monitor and inspect all activities of the tailing canal.”

Work under the contract includes ongoing maintenance, operational support and industrial washing of the equipment and installations in the various industrial wastewater, thickening and recirculation units.

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Mining at El Teniente began in 1905 and the mine already has more than 3,000km of underground drifts, according to the statement.

In 2012, OHL secured a contract from Codelco to develop a copper ore processing plant in División Ministro Hales in Antofagasta.

Last year, Codelco awarded a $173.02m contract to OHL for the expansion of the Talabre Dam in the Chilean city of Calama also in the Antofagasta region.

In addition, OHL has also performed the operation and maintenance of the rhyolite crushing plant in the Atacama Desert (Chile) for BHP Billiton.