Tag Archives: EPC

Primero completes WHIMS project at Fortescue’s Christmas Creek iron ore op

Primero Group says it has completed the construction of a Wet High Intensity Magnetic Separation (WHIMS) processing plant at Fortescue Metals Group’s Christmas Creek iron ore mine in Western Australia.

The plant is expected to improve product grade and mass recovery from the desands unit at the Christmas Creek Ore Process Facility #2.

The flowsheet is based on a simple and robust configuration, where wet screen undersize at a nominal -1 mm is treated in open circuit through a low intensity magnetic stage, followed by a vertical WHIMS stage to produce a concentrate stream and a tailings stream, which can be integrated with the existing process and auxiliary equipment. The vertical WHIMS project entails the redirection of the wet screen undersize stream from the existing scrubbing circuit to feed the brownfield magnetic separation plant.

“We can proudly say that despite the impacts of COVID-19 and the fast-tracked nature of the project, the plant was successfully delivered and commissioned in less than 12 months – meeting all safety and project key performance indicators,” the company said.

Primero put the project’s success down partly to the “enhanced opportunity for collaboration early contractor involvement (ECI) provides”.

It added: “A flexible approach to project development that ensures the needs of all project stakeholders can be met prior to detailed design and implementation in a lump sum engineering procurement and construction (EPC) environment. This constructive, relationship-based contracting continued throughout construction, commissioning and now operation – demonstrating the power of the ECI contracting model when coupled with Primero’s unique, vertically integrated EPC capability.”

Pantoro enlists GR Engineering to build Norseman gold processing plant

Pantoro Ltd has signed a Letter of Intent with GR Engineering Services that is likely to see the ASX-listed contractor take on the engineering, procurement and construction works for the processing facility at the Norseman gold project in Western Australia.

The gold company, which owns 50% of the asset, said detailed engineering works will commence immediately and orders will be placed for long lead items including the 3.3 MW ball mill. Contract documentation is being finalised and is expected to be executed before the end of February.

The contract value is around A$57 million ($44 million) and will be awarded as a guaranteed maximum price agreement, Pantoro noted. This value is inclusive of the crushing circuit associated with the plant.

The DFS announced in October 2020 contemplated a build-own-operate-transfer (BOOT) arrangement for the crusher at Norseman with the transfer planned in year three.

This study also outlined average production of 108,000 oz/y over a seven-year phase one life, peaking at 119,000 oz in year two of production. It also provided for a processing plant capacity of 1 Mt/y with flexibility to expand to 1.5 Mt/y.

Separately, demolition works for the existing plant on site have been awarded with commencement of site works planned for mid-February.

Pantoro Managing Director, Paul Cmrlec, said: “We are pleased that GR Engineering Services will undertake work with their proven track record in new processing plant builds in recent years. GR Engineering has been the dominant supplier of new processing plant builds in Western Australia in recent times, and we look forward to drawing on their experience in construction of the plant at Norseman.”

SilverCrest adds process plant EPC remit to Ausenco’s Las Chispas FS work

SilverCrest Metals is racing ahead with securing one of the key contracts for its Las Chispas project in Mexico, with one of its Mexican subsidiaries entering into a fixed price engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract with Ausenco Engineering Canada and one of its affiliates ahead of the publication of a feasibility study on the silver-gold project.

While the study is still pending finalisation by Ausenco, with announcement of results targeted for late January 2021, SilverCrest says it is confident entering into the process plant agreement based on the substantial feasibility information currently available.

At the same time, the company entered into a $120 million project financing facility with an affiliate of RK Mine Finance for funding the Las Chispas build.

The lump sum turnkey price of $76.5 million for the EPC contract will include construction of a 1,250 t/d process plant at Las Chispas, with execution of Ausenco’s scope of work to begin in February 2021, and commissioning of the process plant targeted for the June quarter of 2022. The process plant production ramp-up is expected to start in the September quarter of that year.

The construction execution plan includes stringent COVID-19 protocols including the use of a confined single room occupancy camp designed to limit the potential for a virus outbreak at the site and in the local communities, SilverCrest says.

Ausenco is in the throes of completing the Las Chispas feasibility study and progressing detailed engineering and the construction management plan. Detailed engineering is progressing well at around 60% completion, according to SilverCrest, and procurement of long lead items started in the final quarter of 2020.

“Advancing these programs in parallel has allowed Ausenco to develop comprehensive capital and operating cost estimates for Las Chispas while progressing detailed engineering beyond what is customary at a feasibility study level,” SilverCrest said.

“The disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic also allowed SilverCrest to initiate an early works program tailored to further reduce project execution risks.”

This early works program included the earthworks package, the water pumping system and the first phase of the construction camp. The advancement of the program, coupled with the fixed price nature of the EPC contract, reduces many common construction and market-related risks, the company said.

Beyond the tasks included in the EPC contract, the remaining initial capital costs anticipated for Las Chispas construction will include development costs of the underground mine; owner’s site costs; on-site infrastructure including Phase 2 of the confined construction camp, a bridge and the filtered (dry stack) tailings system facility; a new 33 kV, 49 km long powerline; and an analytical laboratory located in the community.

Pierre Beaudoin, COO of SilverCrest, said: “We are pleased to be working with Ausenco, a well-known and respected engineering firm with substantial global experience in designing, constructing, and commissioning precious metal process facilities. We have been working closely with Ausenco to complete the EPC contract and the feasibility study in close succession. We are confident that their intimate knowledge of the project will benefit the successful construction and commissioning of Las Chispas.”

A February 2019 preliminary economic assessment on Las Chispas outlined a 1,250 t/d production rate with an initial mine life of 8.5 years. This resulted in average annual production of 5.38 Moz of silver and 55,700 oz of gold.

Argonaut Gold moves forward Magino construction with Ausenco EPC contract

Argonaut Gold says it has executed a fixed bid engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning (EPC) contract with Ausenco Engineering Canada for the construction of the Magino open-pit gold processing facility and other parts of the Magino construction project, in Ontario, Canada.

The EPC contract totals around 40% of Magino’s initial capital estimate of between $360-$380 million, the company said.

A 2017 feasibility study on Magino, a past-producing mine, outlined a 10,000 t/d operation with average annual production of around 116,000 oz of gold over a 17-year mine life (including three years of ore processed from a low-grade stockpile). This same study stated open-pit mining operations would use a fleet comprised of 16 m3 front shovels, a 13 m3 front-end loader and 140 t haul trucks.

Pete Dougherty, President and CEO of Argonaut Gold, said: “Ausenco is an industry leader in the field of building high-quality processing facilities in the mining industry and recently did an excellent job with the Moose River project in Nova Scotia, Canada.

“We are excited for Magino to be one of the first projects entering construction in the current gold price environment, as we feel first mover advantage is critical when securing a construction team of the highest quality and with a superior track record.”

Argonaut recently posted the first phase of financial assurance with the province of Ontario and expects the Magino project Closure Plan to be filed by the province of Ontario in January 2021, which will allow for construction to commence.

DRA Global’s ‘total solutions offering’ put to the test at Exxaro’s Grootegeluk mine

DRA Global says it has continued to sustain its long-term client relationship with Exxaro Resources through the progressive engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) contract at the Grootegeluk coal asset in South Africa.

Exxaro’s Grootegeluk is an open-pit coal mine, 20 km from Lephalale in Limpopo province. The mine produced 26 Mt/y final coal products, using a conventional truck and shovel operation, and has an estimated mineable coal reserve of 3,261 Mt, and a total measured coal resource of 4,719 Mt.

“A project of this magnitude speaks to the extensive experience in project development and delivery extended to the client by DRA,” DRA says.

DRA’s specialist engineering expertise and total solutions package at Exxaro’s Grootegeluk includes, but is not limited to:

  • Bankable feasibility study;
  • Installation of a new PC2 Discard Conveyor alongside the current PC1 Discard Conveyor;
  • Installation of new bifurcated transfer chutes to discharge onto either PC1 or PC2 Conveyor;
  • Seven transfers in total that requires conversion; and
  • Construction of associated infrastructure; such as stormwater control, road crossing, new spillage collection and a transfer system.

Furthermore, DRA recently completed the 3D scanning of existing conveyors and accompanying infrastructure. The compiling of the 3D model has commenced and will inform the engineering of the various transfer towers and the new PC2 Conveyor onto the next phase, it said.

Exxarro, in 2018, initially awarded DRA a contract to construct a 500 t/h coal handling and preparation plant at the Belfast Implementation project, in Mpumalanga.

“The client’s faith in DRA showcases the proficiency in implementing large-scale coal projects and further solidifies the organisations’ reputation for successful project delivery (even under these new circumstances),” it said.

Alistair Hodgkinson, Senior Vice President at DRA, said: “Grootegeluk is just one of many projects under DRA that provides an excellent opportunity to showcase our engineering capability. This is a complex brownfields project that will require attention to detail to achieve successful construction during a tight shutdown deadline; the client values our reputation for being able to deliver challenging brownfields projects successfully.”

The project commenced in the September quarter and is forecasted for completion by the June quarter of 2021.

NRW Holdings to add further mining/metals EPC capabilities with Primero acquisition

NRW Holdings is in pole position to take over Primero Group following a cash and shares bid that values Primero at A$100 million ($74 million).

Primero Directors, who own around 30% of Primero’s equity, have unanimously recommended its shareholders accept the offer in the absence of a superior proposal coming forward.

The addition of Primero, NRW says, would provide significant engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) capability to NRW’s renamed “Minerals, Energy & Technologies” business pillar.

For Primero, meanwhile, it would deliver a “meaningful premium” to recent market trading levels and avoid the need for a potential significantly dilutive capital raising to fund working capital required to deliver its 2021/2022 financial year contracted order book, NRW said. Primero currently has a contracted order book for FY21 of circa-A$285 million and holds preferred EPC contractor status across multiple projects totalling circa-A$900 million.

Managing Director of NRW, Jules Pemberton, said: “The acquisition of Primero will provide NRW with the opportunity to expand its Minerals, Energy & Technologies specialised capability and to leverage the combined expertise of both companies to pursue new business initiatives across a large pipeline of opportunities.

“It builds on NRW’s recent acquisitions of DIAB Engineering and RCR Mining Technologies and represents a further diversification of our strategic platform to offer clients continuity of services across the whole lifecycle of resource projects – from early planning, design, development, construction to operations and maintenance. In addition, Primero is also well positioned to future-focused energy solutions, including lithium and hydrogen technologies.”

Primero Managing Director, Cameron Henry, added: “The combination of NRW’s diversified delivery model coupled with the Primero capabilities will provide our client base with a unique end to end delivery model that will differentiate within the current market and will rapidly accelerate Primero’s growth strategy.

“Our teams have been working well at multiple levels together over the past 12 months and have several projects currently approaching delivery stage that will showcase the model.”

Detailed information relating to the offer will be set out in the Bidder’s Statement and Target’s Statement, which are expected to be dispatched to Primero shareholders in late November and early December 2020, respectively, the companies noted.

MACA receives early call up for Red 5’s King of the Hills gold project

Red 5 Ltd says it has taken another key step towards the development of its King of the Hills (KOTH) project in Western Australia, after issuing a notice of award for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract and the bulk earthworks for the process plant to MACA Interquip.

The EPC contract and bulk earthworks – which encompass the KOTH processing facility, equipping of the bore fields, high voltage power distribution, workshop, warehouse and bulk earthworks – will be undertaken as a fixed‐price contract, Red 5 said.

The KOTH feasibility study outlined a 16-year life of mine plan from open-pit and underground mining, whereby the company would produce 176,000 oz/y of gold over the first six years. The capital cost came in at A$226 million ($158 million) and life of mine all-in sustaining costs were A$1,415/oz.

MACA Interquip, a multi‐disciplined mineral processing provider, has a strong track record of the construction of similar carbon‐in‐leach processing plants to the 4 Mt/y process plant planned at KOTH, Red 5 explained.

Following execution of the EPC contract, commitments to‐date for the KOTH project will total A$143 million, compared with the capital budget of A$155 million for these items – which represent 82% of the total capital budget for processing infrastructure of A$188 million (excluding owners costs and contingency).

Commitments made to date include:

  • Purchase of 240‐bed camp accommodation, water and waste water treatment plants and central facilities;
  • Design and construction contract for a 450‐person village;
  • 6 Mt/y gyratory crusher and 4 Mt/y SAG mill;
  • Early works agreement with APA Group for the gas pipeline lateral; and
  • EPC contract for the process facility and bulk earthworks.

Construction of the village commenced in October 2020 and is on track to be operational in February 2021. The process plant bulk earthworks (for which equipment will be mobilised) are scheduled to commence on December 1, 2020, pending the final remaining permit (currently on schedule).

The EPC contract provides for two phases. The first is limited to A$50 million and Phase 2 is for the remainder of the contract value, which will be released at the discretion of Red 5, based on the status of debt financing.

The notice of award provides for the immediate commencement of the design and procurement activities for the process plant as well as mobilisation of earthmoving equipment to site, Red 5 said. It, however, limits commitments to A$10 million and is an interim measure to allow the plant design and mobilisation for earthworks to commence immediately while the contract is executed.

Once executed, the value of these contracts, together with the purchase of the 6 Mt/y gyratory crusher and 4 Mt/y SAG mill (already awarded to MACA Interquip), is A$129 million.

The purchased long‐lead items of the crusher and mill are currently being transported, in preparation for the planned delivery to Australia late in the June quarter of 2021.

The company is currently calling tenders for both the open pit and underground mining contracts, the independent power producer contract and the supply of gas. These contracts are expected to be finalised in the coming months, it said.

Red 5 Managing Director, Mark Williams, said: “Our decision to award these key contracts and make commitments to significant long‐lead items prior to completing project debt funding reflects our confidence in the robustness of the King of the Hills project.

“Importantly, the commitments made to date are below budget for this stage of the KOTH project, and should give our stakeholders confidence that we are well on track to progress the development of this major project, with production planned to start in June quarter of 2022.”

Primero banks new work with Fortescue, Rio Tinto and Hazer Group

Primero Group says it has recently booked new business totalling some A$55 million ($39 million) with Fortescue Metals Group, Rio Tinto and the Hazer Group as it continues to build out its 2021 financial year contracted order book.

First, it has been awarded the engineering, procurement and construction contract for the Non-Process Infrastructure (NPI) at Fortescue’s Eliwana mine and rail project, in the Pilbara.

Works commenced in late July based on a limited notice to proceed, with the full contract now awarded to Primero following a successful Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) process. The contract includes the complete engineering design, procurement and construction of heavy vehicle workshops and washdown and refuelling infrastructure required for the new Eliwana mine, with works expected to be completed in the 2021 financial year.

Once completed, the $1.275 billion Eliwana project, which includes the building of a 30 Mt/y iron ore processing facility, will maintain Fortescue’s overall production rate of a minimum 170 Mt/y over 20 years.

With Rio Tinto, Primero has been awarded two multi-year Master Service Agreements for NPI and Structural, Mechanical, Piping services across the miner’s Pilbara operational and project locations. The two contracts have an initial term of three years, with an option for a two-year extension. They cover sustaining capital and maintenance projects required over that period across all Rio Tinto Iron Ore Pilbara sites, it said.

The services cover design, procurement and construction activities for engagement under negotiated commercial terms in a “panel style agreement”, according to Primero.

Primero has also been awarded an EPC contract for Hazer Group’s hydrogen/graphene commercial demonstration plant in Western Australia at the Woodman Point Water Treatment Facility.

Hazer is undertaking the commercialisation of the Hazer Process, a low-emission hydrogen and graphite production process. This process enables the effective conversion of natural gas and similar methane feedstocks, into hydrogen and high-quality graphite, using iron ore as a process catalyst, according to the company.

“The full project award has followed a successful ECI process that has extended over the past 12 months,” Primero said. “This process was targeted at developing the technology engineering to the point where a commercial contract could be executed to deliver the project. The project is the first of its kind in the new global renewables energy market and is patented groundbreaking technology in the hydrogen space.”

Alongside this, Primero said it had been awarded the detailed design contract for a 130 km water delivery pipeline and associated pumping stations for the Covalent Lithium Mt Holland project feasibility study in Western Australia.

Primero said its committed order book for the 2021 financial year now stands at around A$285 million.

GR Engineering to turn the lights back on at Davyhurst gold processing plant

GR Engineering Services has been awarded an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract with Ora Banda Mining associated with the restart of the existing Davyhurst gold processing plant, in Western Australia.

The EPC contract price is A$10.8 million ($7.6 million) and will be undertaken on a fixed price basis, which includes a provisional sum component.

The scope of works include the refurbishment, optimisation and recommissioning of the existing 1.2 Mt/y processing plant, borefields and associated infrastructure. Work will start immediately and is expected to be completed in the March quarter, GR Engineering said.

GR Engineering Managing Director, Geoff Jones, said: “We are excited to be working with Ora Banda’s management team and look forward to Ora Banda becoming Australia’s newest gold producer.”

Ora Banda’s definitive feasibility study for the Davyhurst Restart project outlined a production target of 418,000 oz of gold over an initial five-year mine life based on an ore reserve of 460,000 oz (6.1 Mt at 2.4 g/t Au) from six deposits within 50 km of the existing plant.

A conventional gold three stage crushing circuit followed by a carbon in pulp processing plant will produce gold doré bars, according to Ora Banda, which hopes to commence mining in the December quarter and pour first gold in the March quarter.

thyssenkrupp wins semi-mobile-crushing-plant contract in India coal hub

thyssenkrupp has been awarded a contract to supply three semi-mobile-crushing-plants (SMCP) to a major open-pit coal mine in the Singrauli district of Madhya Pradesh, India, namely the Jayant mine of Northern Coalfields Ltd, a division of state compay Coal India. The plants will be used for a new 15 Mt/y coal handling plant (CHP).

Looking to boost production from 10 Mt/y to 25 Mt/y, the miner is implementing an in-pit crushing and conveying system utilising the in-pit SMCP for the CHP, which will, thyssenkrupp says, make the production process more efficient and stable.

thyssenkrupp won the contract from an India-based engineering procurement and construction contractor, SK Samanta. It involves the complete design, engineering, manufacturing and supply, and “TAG services” for the three semi-mobile crushing plants.

The plants consist out of three separate modules. The receiving hopper module comes with a 2.2 m wide and 10.5 m long, heavy-duty apron feeder, which can be fed by trucks and has a capacity of around 150 tons (136 t).

The heart of each plant is the crusher module, which uses a RollSizer DRS 1,000 x 2,250 (centre distance x length of the roller) for a maximum feed capacity of 1,900 t/h.

The third module is the electrical building with the operator room. By separating this module from the crusher module, the operators and electrical equipment are not exposed to any vibrations from the crushing process. This ensures the plants meet all requirements from a health and safety perspective, while guaranteeing a long life of the electrical equipment, thyssenkrupp said.

“Compared to stationary crushing plants, SMCPs are more flexible and can be relocated when the distance between the mining area and the crushing plant increases and, thereby, can reduce the cost for transport of the run of mine material significantly,” thyssenkrupp said.

“thyssenkrupp can look back on a long history of supplying fully-mobile, semi-mobile, and stationary crushing plants, which makes the company a leading partner for the engineering, construction and service of industrial plants and systems for the coal industry.”