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MEI Online: Plant Operation News: Middle East & Asia: January 26th 2005


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:: Aker Kvaerner to Proceed with Spence Project in Chile

RioChilex S.A. has asked Aker Kvaerner to do the engineering, procurement and construction management for development of the Spence copper project. The contract is valued at approximately USD 50 million.

The Spence project will develop the copper ore deposit located in Chile's Region II, approximately 65 kilometres south-west of the city of Calama in northern Chile. The project includes an open pit mine, crushing, conveying, dynamic heap leaching, dump leaching, solvent extraction and electrowinning facilities.

Consistent with the corporate goals of both BHP Billiton and Aker Kvaerner, an objective for this project will be "zero harm" ("Cero Da˝o") for people, the environment and the community. "We intend to work closely as a team, to implement this project with top performance in all areas of health, safety, environment and community", said Jim McGrath, President of Aker Kvaerner Metals, Inc.

Aker Kvaerner was awarded the initial work in April 2003 which included a revision of the existing feasibility study including several trade-off studies aimed at incorporating and advancing technical developments from other recent successful extraction and electrowinning projects, including the BHP Billiton owned Tintaya Oxide project. Following completion of the feasibility study, Aker Kvaerner has been advancing with the detailed engineering.

Riochilex S.A. is a wholly owned subsidiary of BHP Billiton and holds 100 per cent interest in the Spence Project. Contract partner from Aker Kvaerner is Kvaerner E&C Worldwide Corporation.




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