Antofagasta Minerals (AMSA) has awarded a A$420m ($303m) contract extension to CIMIC Group’s subsidiary Thiess to continue to provide mining services at the Encuentro open pit mine located in northern Chile.

Following the contract extension, Thiess will continue operations at the site for a period of four years.

“This contract reinforces the team’s engagement with and understanding of the client to ensure they are delivering the best solutions possible.”

The scope of works under the contract includes drilling, load and haul, mobile equipment maintenance and mine services.

CIMIC Group CEO Michael Wright said: “It’s great to see Thiess continuing their work at the Encuentro project and building on the strong relationship they’ve established with AMSA over the past three years. This contract reinforces the team’s engagement with and understanding of the client to ensure they are delivering the best solutions possible.”

The contract extension will enable AMSA to undertake planned future improvements, including investment in maintenance infrastructure, a fleet management system and transferring short-term mine planning responsibilities to Thiess.

Thiess managing director Douglas Thompson said: “Since commencing operations in 2015, we have moved over 70 million cubic metres, a first for Thiess in South America. This has been possible through the team’s focus on efficiency and productivity and working collaboratively with our client. We look forward to continuing this level of service for AMSA.”

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By GlobalData

The Encuentro project is located in the Antofagasta region, 33km east of Sierra Gorda and 2,300m above sea level. It has a planned mine life of around 15 years.

Last month, the Chilean Government bestowed the ‘National Geology and Mining Service Award – Category B’ on Thiess Centinela operations for best overall safety safety performance.