Rio increases scope of Primero work at Koodaideri, Robe Valley

Primero says it has been awarded variation extensions to contracts it already has in place with Rio Tinto at the in-development Koodaideri iron ore project and the Robe Valley iron ore operations, both in the Pilbara of Western Australia.

The multi-disciplinary engineering and contracting firm said the extensions have a combined value of around A$20 million ($12.3 million).

The variations awarded under the Mesa K (Robe Valley) contract reflect additional civil works at the Mesa J PP2 (process plant 2) wet processing facility, currently being developed as part of Rio Tinto’s Robe Valley sustaining projects, Primero said.

Back in October 2018, Rio, together with joint venture partners Mitsui and Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal, approved an investment of $1.55 billion to sustain production capacity at two projects forming part of the Robe River joint venture, which also includes Robe Valley.

The additions to the Koodaideri contract, meanwhile, reflect additional “options selections” that have now been confirmed and included for implementation, according to Primero.

Construction on Koodaideri Phase 1 started in 2019 with first production expected in late 2021. Once complete, the $2.6 billion mine will have an annual capacity of 43 Mt, underpinning production of the company’s flagship iron ore product, Pilbara Blend.

Primero Group secured a A$115 million contract with Rio Tinto’s iron ore division to design, fabricate, supply, deliver, construct, install, test and commission the Mine Infrastructure Area and associated facilities at Koodaideri back in late 2019.

The Mesa J works (under the Mesa K contract) are expected to be completed in 2020, Primero said. The additional Koodaideri works are planned to be completed in-line with the original contracted time frame of mid 2021.