BHP, CSC sign $US19m deal

Majority BHP-owned copper mine producer Minera Escondida Limitada (MEL) signed a $US19 outsourcing deal with Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) Thursday, under which the outsourcer will upgrade the Chile-based miner's information systems.

Under the deal, CSC will supply a full range of IT infrastructure services from applications, mid-range, networks and desktop to helpdesk and communications support.

CSC has also set up as 24x7 helpdesk to support Escondida, which is linked to CSC's Wollongong-based enterprise support centre.

The contract is an extension of BHP's existing $US470 million IT outsourcing agreement with CSC, signed last May for seven years.

BHP Minerals manages the Escondida operation on behalf of the MEL Owner's Council - 57.5 per cent owned by BHP, 30 per cent by Rio Tinto, 10 per cent by JECO and 2.5 per cent by International Finance Corporation.

28 employees from MEL have been transferred to CSC under the agreement.

"Escondida views itself as a leader in the use of technology in the copper industry," said MEL president Bruce Turner. "I believe that with CSC we have selected the right partner to enhance and strengthen our leadership position in this critical support area."

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