Tag Archives: EPC

Primero rewarded with circa-A$290 million Mt Holland lithium concentrator contract

NRW Holdings’s wholly owned subsidiary Primero Group has been awarded the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract related to the Mt Holland concentrator project in Western Australia for Covalent Lithium, a joint venture between Wesfarmers and SQM.

The Mt Holland project has been worked on in various development phases over the past 18 months between the Covalent and Primero teams, with the planning and works now culminating in the full award of the circa-A$290 million ($214 million) EPC delivery contract, NRW said.

Primero has been awarded the EPC contract that will process ‘run of mine’ ore at a rate of circa 2 Mt/y and produce an output of circa 400,000 t/y of spodumene concentrate to feed the company’s integrated lithium hydroxide conversion refinery situated in Kwinana.

The project scope covers the vertical delivery of engineering design of all disciplines, procurement of all equipment and materials, site construction, commissioning and performance testing of the spodumene concentrator at the Mt Holland site.

The full execution will commence immediately with site works planned to commence in October and an expected peak workforce of 350 personnel, NRW said.

Primero Managing Director, Cameron Henry, said: “The award of the Mt Holland EPC contract is the culmination of an 18-month journey with the Covalent Lithium team and demonstrates the trust and solid working relationship between the groups in the development of the project. This project is not only a flagship project for Primero and our parent company, NRW Holdings, but also a major project for Western Australia and the further development of the state’s battery minerals supply chain.”

NRW CEO, Jules Pemberton, added: “We are pleased to see the continued growth of the Primero business and, in particular, the scale of projects and quality of clients they continue to attract to the group.

“The project has created opportunities for the combined businesses and provides a great platform for other clients to understand the depth, capability and capacity of the group as a whole from early project inception and feasibility through turnkey multi-discipline delivery and further.”

NRW Holdings recently acquired Primero in a cash and shares deal valuing Primero at around A$100 million.

GR Engineering wins Mt Ida EPC contract from Aurenne Alt Resources

GR Engineering Services says it has executed an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract with Aurenne Alt Resources Pty Ltd in relation to the Mt Ida gold project in Western Australia.

Mt Ida, which Aurenne inherited with the acquisition of Alt Resources last year, is in the eastern goldfields of the state.

GR Engineering said the contract sum is approximately A$73 million ($54 million) and work is expected to start immediately.

Geoff Jones, Managing Director of GR Engineering, said: “GR Engineering is pleased to have been awarded the EPC contract by Aurenne and we look forward to working collaboratively with the Aurenne team. This project further reinforces GR Engineering’s reputation as the leading gold EPC contractor in Australia.”

Alt Resources previously outlined the need for a 750,000 t/y processing facility at Mt Ida in a 2020 feasibility study prior to being acquired by Aurenne.

Bardoc and GR Engineering get to work on optimising gold processing plant plan

Bardoc Gold has signed a letter of intent (LoI) with GR Engineering Services that confirms its status as preferred tenderer for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the processing facility and associated infrastructure at the Bardoc gold project near Kalgoorlie in Western Australia.

The appointment of GRES as preferred tenderer represents another significant step for Bardoc as work continues to accelerate on key project optimisation strategies aimed at streamlining the mining and production schedule, growing the production rate and improving project economics and returns, Bardoc said.

It follows Bardoc recently initiating a Cash-flow Optimisation Study, which is aimed at increasing the forecast production rate, margins and cashflow of the project. The definitive feasibility study, published earlier in the year, outlined a 2.1 Mt/y project with average annual gold sales of 135,760 oz over 8.2 years of mill production.

The LoI contemplates Bardoc working closely with GRES to complete the optimisation work currently underway as the company moves towards project financing and a Final Investment Decision before the end of the year.

Further updates on the optimisation work will be provided in the coming weeks, with results expected to be provided to the market by the end of August, Bardoc said.

GR Engineering has recently completed the construction of several comparable processing plants in Western Australia, according to Bardoc.

Progressing from the current LoI to a formal EPC contract will be subject to various conditions, including board approvals, project financing, statutory approvals and final contractual pricing and terms.

Bardoc Gold CEO, Robert Ryan, said: “Bardoc is moving rapidly towards the development of a new high-quality, high-margin gold project near Kalgoorlie. The competitive EPC tender process has drawn a number of quality submissions, reflecting the rapid progression of the Bardoc Gold Project and the high-quality work completed as part of the definitive feasibility study.

“The appointment of GR Engineering marks another key step in the development of the project and establishes an important relationship with a leading design and construction group. We look forward to working with the GRES team over the coming weeks and months.”

GR Engineering to help double processing capacity at NSR’s Thunderbox

GR Engineering Services says it has executed an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract with Northern Star Resources in relation to the Thunderbox 6 Mt/y expansion project in Western Australia.

Located 45 km south of Leinster, the Thunderbox operations currently have a 3 Mt/y processing capacity. The asset was owned by Saracen Mineral Holdings prior to a merger with Northern Star.

The works will involve the design, engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning of the project, with the contract sum amounting to A$101 million ($74.3 million) and work is expected to start immediately.

GR Engineering has carried out several projects on the Thunderbox operations, including EPC work on the Thunderbox paste plant work, which has seen a new 150 cu.m paste backfill plant built.

Commenting on the recent award, Geoff Jones, GR Engineering Managing Director, said: “GR Engineering is excited to continue working with Northern Star, one of the world’s leading gold producers, to safely deliver the Thunderbox Expansion project. We have worked with the Northern Star team over many years and see this award as a strong endorsement of our proven EPC delivery capability.”

On award of Northern Star’s largest infrastructure project to date, Northern Star’s General Manager Processing, Simon Tyrrell, said: “The Thunderbox expansion increases the operation’s hard-rock processing capacity to 6 Mt/y from the current 3 Mt/y, and decreases processing costs as outlined in the 2021 Investor Day Presentation. Northern Star is pleased to be working with GR Engineering again, a local company with vast project delivery experience in the Australian mining industry.”

In this same presentation, the company said the processing capacity boost would involve the addition of a new 18 MW mill and classification circuit; new leach tanks, elution and gold room upgrades; and new tailing thickener and tailings pumping. The plant would be designed for 100% fresh ore, NSR said.

Nordic Mining enlists firms for EPC at Engebø rutile and garnet project

Nordic Mining, through its wholly owned subsidiary Nordic Rutile AS, has entered into letters of intent with Sunnfjord Industripartner AS, Åsen & Øvrelid AS, Nordic Bulk AS, and Normatic AS as partners for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) of the Engebø rutile and garnet project in Norway.

The LOIs are a formalisation of the EPCs deliverables toward the update of the Engebø definitive feasibility study (UDFS), and in line with the optimised contracting and execution strategy developed to ensure the successful construction of the project, the company said.

Sunnfjord Industripartner is a company founded to compete on larger contracts for industry and communication development projects, Åsen & Øvrelid is one of the largest civil and building contractor on the west coast of Norway, Nordic Bulk designs, manufactures and installs plants for processing and handling of bulk material within the mining and quarrying industry, and Normatic is a significant provider of control systems, instrumentation, electrical cabinets, electrical systems and SCADA systems.

The LOIs comprise lump sum EPC contracts covering around 70% of the total plant and mine capital expenditure of $203.4 million. The parties plan to formalise the final EPC contracts by early in the September quarter.

In preparation for construction, Nordic Mining says it will, together with its selected project management consultant and the selected EPC partners, immediately start pre-construction work related to setting up the project management organisational structures and systems and selected detailed engineering activities.

A January 2020 feasibility study on Engebø envisaged an optimised mining plan and scheduling to support an initial 42-year mine life and a 1.5 Mt/y run of mine operation. This would see 15 years of open-pit mining and high-grade processing, and stockpiling of medium/low-grade ore, 19 years underground production, eight years of production with no mining costs based on stockpiled ore, and further project life extension possibilities based on the inferred resources.

Project Manager, Kenneth Nakken Angedal, said: “We are pleased to sign the agreements with the EPCs supporting the project in the update of the definitive feasibility study and, by that, moving the Engebø rutile and garnet project towards execution. Our focus has been to partner with companies on what they are best at, and that have the experience to support in construction and operations, which will support creating value for the region in many years going forward.”

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.