Finning International, the world’s largest Caterpillar dealer, operating in Western Canada, Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Uruguay and the U.K., this week said its South American division has received a letter of intent from Codelco, Chile’s state-owned mining company, to supply 20 Caterpillar 797 mining trucks and 15 pieces of support equipment, plus a 10-year maintenance and repair contract. The approximate value of the deal, including the maintenance services, is U.S. $400 million.
The letter of intent is subject to final project approval by Codelco’s board, which is expected by midyear. The equipment would then be delivered in the first half of 2011 to Codelco’s Ministro Hales mine.
“We are extremely pleased to be partnering with Codelco, one of the world’s leading copper producers,” said Mike Waites, president and CEO of Finning International. “Winning this contract underscores our commitment to our customers and our focus in the mining sector. Mining continues to provide solid growth for Finning and we are proud to have earned the reputation as the leading heavy mining equipment supplier and service partner in the world’s largest copper-producing region, Chile.”
“The investments we have made to expand our facilities and capabilities in recent years have strengthened our mining presence and further enhanced our ability to meet and exceed the expectations and growing needs of our customers,” added Juan Carlos Villegas, president of Finning South America.
Located halfway between Chuquicamata and Calama in northern Chile’s Atacama Desert, the Ministro Hales mine development is a copper sulphide deposit with estimated reserves of 219 million tons of copper.
Finning International is based in Vancouver, B.C., Canada.