Power technology firm ABB has won a contract from Minera Escondida to increase productivity at the world’s largest copper mine.

Minera Escondida, in which BHP Billiton has a majority stake, operates the Escondida mine, located in the northern part of Chile.

In 2008, the Escondida mine produced 1.2 million metric tons of fine copper, nearly 8% of the world’s total production.

Under the five-year contract, ABB will provide performance-based maintenance services for the mine’s five crushing plants and the 25km conveying system that transports the copper to processing plants.

The contract also includes continuous improvement programmes aimed at increasing efficiency and reliability of all production equipment.