Through its subsidiaries VINCI Construction Grands Projets (60%) and Soletanche Bachy (40%), VINCI has been announced winner of the contract to design and build two large-scale mine tunnels in Chile. The contract, awarded by Codelco, the country’s national copper company, is worth US$400M.
The “Túneles de Acceso Principales del Proyecto Nuevo Nivel de Mina El Teniente” covers the drilling and blasting of two 9km tunnels, each with an average cross section of 65 sq. metres, together with two intermediate access tunnels totalling 6km. The first of the main tunnels is for transporting personnel, the other is for the ore. The tunnels will enable a new mine level to be created in El Teniente, the world’s biggest underground copper mine.
El Teniente is located at an altitude of between 1,500 and 1,900m, 80km to the south of Santiago, in the Libertador General Bernardo O’Higgins region in the Andes.
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The works, which are scheduled to start in October 2011, will take 40 months to complete.