Ausenco has won a contract from Xstrata Copper to develop a magnetite extraction plant at its Ernest Henry Mine in Australia.

Under the $9.6m contract, Ausenco will provide engineering, procurement and construction management services.

The construction of the plant will commence in 2010 with commissioning in early 2011.

The plant is a part of Xstrata Copper’s $589m development of the Ernest Henry underground mine and magnetite processing operations announced in 2009.

The Ernest Henry mine has an annual production capacity of 90,000t of copper in concentrate and 110,000oz of gold in concentrate.

The magnetite processing operation will produce approximately 1.2 million tons of magnetite a year.