Chile-based state-owned enterprise and the world’s largest producer of copper Codelco has signed an 18-month service contract with Metso to provide repair service solutions at its Chuquicamata mine in Chile.

Under the deal, Metso will change the components to 33 ball mills currently operating in the mine’s A0 and A1 plants.

Work will also include changing the pinion-gear assembly and repairing the shell. Metso will repair two mills a month and also continuously monitor the status of the equipment.

Effective from April, the contract also included gear disassembly, new gear assembly, pinion assembly, gear alignment (slow rotation) and mantle repair.

"Metso’s specialised, high-quality services are focused on optimisation and improved reliability of the mills."

Metso was selected by Codelco due to the company’s high safety performance, which helped it attain an award in 2013 from the Association of Major Suppliers for Mining in Chile.

Metso Chile mining and construction services director Eduardo Nilo said the choice was due to Metso’s expertise in similar type of projects.

"Metso’s specialised, high-quality services are focused on optimisation and improved reliability of the mills. As a result, the customer will gain the desired return on their investment," Nilo said.

The latest contract is expected to create 30 new Metso services jobs in Northern Chile.

The deal follows the 2012 contract, where Metso supplied the Chuquicamata mine with three large MP1250 cone crushers and an automatic control system.

The Chuquicamata division operates two copper and molybdenum-producing mines, Chuquicamata and Mina Sur.

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