MACA says it has received a letter of award from First Quantum Minerals related to carrying out open-pit mining services at the Ravensthorpe nickel project in Western Australia.
On care and maintenance since October 1, 2017, due to the persistently low nickel price, Ravensthorpe involves open-pit mining and beneficiation of nickel laterite ore, pressure acid leaching, atmospheric leaching, counter current decantation, precipitation and filtration to produce a mixed hydroxide precipitate product, containing approximately 40% nickel and 1.4% cobalt on a dry basis.
First Quantum hinted earlier this year that a restart could be on the cards following a sustained nickel price run. Restart costs, should favourable conditions prevail, are estimated at $10 million, the company has previously said.
The final contract award with MACA is subject to finalisation of documentation with all major terms having been agreed, the ASX-listed contractor said.
Mobilisation to site is expected to commence in December with operations commencing from January.
The project will consist of open-pit mining services including drilling and blasting, and loading and hauling, and is expected to generate around A$480 million ($327 million) in revenue for MACA over the initial five-year term.
MACA said its total work in hand position now stands at A$2.5 billion and its financial year 2020 revenue is expected to be around A$770 million.
MACA Operations Director, Geoff Baker, said: “We are very pleased to have been selected preferred contractor and look forward to developing a long-term working relationship with the First Quantum team at the Ravensthorpe nickel project.”