Thiess has been selected as the preferred mining services contractor by Austral Resources for the Anthill Copper Project in Queensland, Australia.

Austral Resources will now enter into exclusive negotiations with Thiess to finalise the terms of a three-year contract.

Work is expected to include operations and maintenance of two mining fleets. Thiess will also conduct mining services to support Austral Resources’ copper production requirements at the Anthill Project.

Thiess CEO and executive chairman Michael Wright said: “Thiess has a long history operating in the Mount Isa region, dating back to the early 1960s, and we’re very pleased to be back.

“With our selection as preferred contractor, Austral Resources has recognised our team’s specialist mining capability and our flexible approach to meet the needs of their mine.

“This project is very important to Thiess as we continue to diversify our business across commodities, mining regions and services. We are positioned well to support Austral Resources and the local community, with the right equipment, technical capability and operations team.”

The Anthill Copper Project is located around 80km north-west of Mount Isa and lies within the Lady Annie project.

According to an updated mining study completed earlier this year, Anthill hosts Joint Ore Reserves Committee (JORC) 2012 compliant ore reserve of 5.1Mt grading 0.94% Cu containing 47.7Kt of copper.

Austral plans to commence mining from the project this year and aims to produce 40,000t of London Metal Exchange (LME) Grade A copper cathode over four years.

Earlier this year, Thiess received a contract from MACH Energy to provide mining services at the Mount Pleasant coal mine in Australia.