Downer EDI has struck a $660 million deal with OZ Minerals to run mining services at one of Australia’s largest undeveloped copper deposits.
Shares in both companies opened higher on Tuesday after the industrial services giant was tasked with finishing the setup and running production at the Carrapateena copper-gold project until the end of 2025.
At an estimated value of $916 million, the central South Australian site is one of the country’s largest undeveloped copper deposits, OZ Minerals says.
A 2017 feasibility study suggested it could become one of the nation’s first fully automated mining operations.
OZ Minerals was hoping to build a “highly autonomously-operated mining fleet”, early works contractor PYBAR said in 2017.
Production is expected to begin in the second half of the 2019 fiscal year.
The deal is Downer’s second at Carrapateena after it won a contract in December to provide engineering, procurement and construction services.
“This new contract is an excellent example of the breadth of services we can offer to customers in the mining and resources sector,” Downer CEO Grant Fenn said in a statement on Tuesday.
Shares in Downer were two cents, or 0.46 per cent, higher at $6.51 and OZ Minerals shares were up 9.5 cents, or 1.07 per cent, at $8.945 at 1140 AEST on Tuesday.