Engineering and project management company Amec Plc (LON:AMEC) has been commissioned by Oyu Tolgoi LLC to carry out the feasibility study for Lift 1 of the underground Hugo North block cave operation of its copper and gold mining project in Mongolia. Oyu Tolgoi is the world's largest undeveloped copper-gold project and is located in the South Gobi region of Mongolia, approximately 80km north of the Mongolia-China border. When Oyu Tolgoi moves into full production, it will be one of the world's top three copper-gold mines. The project is being developed by a partnership comprising Ivanhoe Mines (TSX:IVN), Rio Tinto (LON:RIO) and the Mongolian government.

Over the next 25 months, AMEC will work with Oyu Tolgoi's engineering team to develop designs, specifications, cost estimates and a construction schedule for an 85,000 tonnes-per-day block cave operation. Neil Bruce, executive director of AMEC, said: “This contract is a great example of AMEC working for a key customer in the important underground mining sector, a core activity in our Vision 2015 business strategy.”

Bob Stanlake, president of AMEC's Mining & Metals business added: “Being selected to perform the Oyu Tolgoi feasibility study is an important step in AMEC's strategy to become a preferred global supplier of underground study and EPCM services in the mining sector. Oyu Tolgoi recognises the value of our skills and practical experience along with strong performance in previous study work for them.”

To support in the delivery of this complex project, AMEC has partnered with RSV of South Africa for shaft engineering, AC-Tek for dynamic simulation of underground conveyors and Analytical Laboratory Consultants for laboratory service design. Last week AMEC reported that trading in the year-to-date had been towards the top end of expectations – having recorded a 13% increase in revenues to £1,429.5 million at the half year. Shares in the group edged down during trading this morning but have risen steadily over 12 months from 826p last November to close at 1112p yesterday.

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