Tag Archives: Cosmos

GR Engineering to refurb and upgrade Cosmos nickel concentrator

GR Engineering Services Ltd is set to carry out an upgrade of the existing nickel concentrator at the Cosmos Nickel Operations, owned by Western Areas Ltd, after signing an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract with one of the miner’s subsidiaries.

The project is 30 km north of Leinster in Western Australia.

Western Areas says it has plans to refurbish and expand the concentrator to achieve 900,000 t/y throughput. In its most recent quarterly report, it said long lead items for the project had been identified with ordering taking place in the December quarter. Most of the plant refurbishment and upgrade is due to commence in the March quarter of 2022.

The contract sum is A$48 million ($36 million) and GR Engineering has commenced work immediately, the contractor said.

Geoff Jones, Managing Director, said: “GR Engineering has a long history of working with the Western Areas management team and have a strong track record of delivering projects for Western Areas on time and on budget. GR Engineering is excited to work with Western Areas on another important project and we are looking forward to delivering safe and successful outcomes for the project.”

RUC Cementation Mining to carry out shaft work on Western Areas’ Cosmos nickel op

RUC Cementation Mining Contractors is set to carry out the shaft infrastructure design, construction and equipping for the Cosmos nickel operations in Western Australia after signing a contract with mine owner, Western Areas Ltd.

This contract represents the culmination of an engagement that has been ongoing for some six months, not including the excavation works which RUC is completing, having recently successfully holed the top leg of the shaft, RUC said.

“Furthermore, this cements a long-term relationship between both companies that spans over 15 years,” it added.

In Western Areas’ 2021 financial year (to June 30, 2021), capital investment at Cosmos totalled A$84 million ($63 million) for the year as the Odysseus mine construction activity increased, including full mobilisation of the underground mining contractor with over 3 km of underground decline and capital development being completed.

Odysseus mine development reached first ore earlier this month, with the raisebore back reaming having worked through 630 m of development at a diameter of 5.7 m, completing Leg 1 of the shaft hoisting and intake air system.

At the time, Western Areas Managing Director, Dan Lougher, said: “It is an exciting milestone to reach first ore and we now look forward to continuing ore production and construction activities, while also advancing offtake tenders for new nickel sulphide supply into the class 1 nickel market.

“The raisebore breakthrough (pictured) is also a key achievement that further de-risks project delivery and allows completion of the shaft sub-brace concrete works, as well as remaining surface civil works, associated with the shaft. Importantly, the work was completed without a safety incident, for which credit must be given to the site management team and RUC, the raise bore contractor.”

Barminco to take on Odysseus nickel mining gig for Western Areas

Perenti’s hard-rock underground miner Barminco has been awarded a development and production contract at Western Areas’ Odysseus mine, in Western Australia.

The contract at Odysseus, part of the Cosmos nickel operation, is valued at around A$200 million ($146 million) over five years and follows on from the earlier rehabilitation works completed by Barminco at the mine.

Western Areas acquired Cosmos in October 2015 and commenced the redevelopment of Odysseus in January 2019. Once in production, Odysseus is expected to produce 14,000-15,000 t/y of nickel concentrate, becoming Western Areas third nickel mine in Western Australia.

Western Areas Managing Director, Dan Lougher, said today (September 8) that excellent progress had been made on the underground and surface infrastructure works at Odysseus, with minimal COVID-19 impacts.

“We have reached a critical milestone with the firing of the full-face development of the Odysseus decline, which is now heading across to the orebody,” he said. “A significant amount of preparation and support work has been delivered across the site to reach this milestone.

“We now have our eye on the delivery of the first ore tonnes mined from underground in the first quarter of financial year 2022.”

Barminco’s Chief Executive Officer, Paul Muller, said the company was excited to continue its relationship with the Western Areas team, which began in 2005 at the Forrestania mine and has now grown to include the Cosmos nickel operation.

“Odysseus is a significant project to bring on-stream, and the five-year term demonstrates the trust and confidence Western Areas has in Barminco to continuously improve and deliver for them,” he said.