Chile’s Codelco has awarded a $400m contract to Vinci for the design and construction of two tunnels at the El Teniente mine in Chile.

VINCI will carry out the project through its subsidiaries VINCI Construction Grands Projects and Soletanche Bachy.

El Teniente is located at an altitude of between 1,500 and 1,900m, 80km to the south of Santiago, in the Libertador General Bernardo O’Higgins region in the Andes.

The scope of work will include drilling and blasting two 9km tunnels, each with an average cross-section of 65m², along with two intermediate access tunnels totalling 6km.

The first tunnel will be utilised for transporting personnel and the other tunnel will be used for the ore.

The works are scheduled to commence in October 2011, and are expected to take 40 months to complete.