Wood wins big contract in $4bn Chile copper project

Aberdeen-based global engineering and consulting giant John Wood Group plc said it has been awarded a contract by Antofagasta Minerals S.A (AMSA) for its Nueva Centinela copper project in Chile.

The project forms part of AMSA’s $4.4 billion investment into the Minera Centinela facility and will support the world’s increased demand for copper – largely driven by the energy transition and the global move towards electrification.

The contract will see Wood support AMSA in expanding the Esperanza Sur pit.

Wood has been appointed as the strategic partner for execution and will work together with AMSA to deliver all key aspects of the project.

This will include managing the construction of a new concentrating plant, ore crushing facility, conveyor transportation systems, sea water pipeline, tailing disposal and facility expansions as well as other necessary infrastructure at the Centinela port.

The project will position Centinela to become one of the top 15 copper mines in the world by output, producing an additional 170,000 copper equivalent tonnes per annum – enough copper to build over two million electric cars.

First production is expected in 2027 with work commencing in May 2024.

Jim Shaughnessy, Wood’s President of Minerals, Metals and Life Sciences, said: “Copper has a pivotal role to play in our energy transition.

“As the world continues to build more sustainable energy systems, a safe and secure supply of energy transition materials is critical.

“We’re proud to build on our existing relationship with AMSA and support increased production to meet surging demand for copper.

“This award underlines the strength of our mineral processing capability and experience of delivering end-to-end EPCm services for complex, large-scale projects.”

The three-year project will be supported by around 130 Wood employees with the company planning to hire around 50 new positions immediately as a result of the contract award.  The majority of these will be on-site, with the remainder at Wood’s Santiago office.

Wood operates in 60 countries and employs around 35,000 people.