Thiess has announced that it has been awarded a Letter of Agreement (LOA) to provide mining services to Minera Centinela to perform full-service mining at the Llano copper project, located in the Sierra Gorda District, Antofagasta, Chile.
The LOA is for a contract valued at A$155 million, which will commence in March 2023, with Thiess’ scope of works including mining operations, maintenance, and asset management services at the greenfield copper mine for Minera Centinela, a joint venture between Antofagasta Minerals (70%) and Marubeni Corporation (30%).
Thiess Executive Chair and CEO Michael Wright said: “We are pleased to collaborate with Minera Centinela to develop a mine of the future, focused on sustainable innovation, optimised production, and career development for the skilled mining professionals who make up the local workforce.”
He adds: “During the seven years we have been in Chile, we’ve built trusted partnerships with local communities, suppliers and our clients. We look forward to the future as we continue to work with Minera Centinela to redefine sustainable mining.”
Thiess Group Executive Americas Darrell White said: “We are excited for the opportunity to further deepen our relationship with Minera Centinela, who have entrusted us with delivering safe, innovative, and productive operations. Together with our client, we are committed to making Llano our most sustainable project in the Americas, implementing measures to increase efficiencies and reduce the project’s carbon footprint.”
Thiess has also established partnerships with local suppliers to provide essential services and has committed to hiring locally to increase the number of employees living close to the mine. Thiess will also double the number of women hired at Llano relative to mining in Chile, by expanding its existing scholarship program for women operators, and commencing the second cohort of apprenticeship program to train and empower women living in the Antofagasta region who have an interest in maintenance.
Thiess says it has committed to building on its recent achievement of more than two million work hours without a lost-time incident in Chile – for which Minera Centinela recognised Thiess as having the best performance in safety and occupational health within the Centinela Mining Jurisdiction.
The statement said: “A mutual focus on developing future-fit mines, guided by ethical, inclusive and sustainable practices, has enabled Thiess and Minera Centinela to build a trusted partnership that will add lasting value to the Antofagasta region for years to come.”