Tag Archives: Jules Pemberton

Primero bags Finniss lithium process plant EPC contract

Core Lithium has awarded Primero Group with the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the Finniss lithium process plant in the Northern Territory of Australia.

Primero’s award status has been updated from the initial preferred status awarded in 2019 and continues the long-standing relationship in the development of the project with the Core Lithium team and follows on from the successful delivery of Core’s definitive feasibility study and subsequent study updates, NRW Holdings, the parent company of Primero, says.

The project will commence immediately and is fully funded with site works planned to commence in March 2022 with commissioning of the facility due to commence in October 2022, according to NRW.

Primero’s work on the Finniss dense media separation (DMS) plant will entail project management; engineering and detailed design; equipment and materials procurement; DMS plant construction; quality assurance and construction verification, and ore commissioning on receipt of first ore, according to Core.

Primero Managing Director, Cameron Henry, says: “The Primero brand is synonymous with the processing and operation of battery metals and future energy and the Core Lithium project is another example of the quality of our processing knowledge in these industries. The working relationship with the Core team has been a four-year journey and we look forward to delivering on this contract and continuing the relationship with Core.”

NRW CEO, Jules Pemberton, added: “The NRW Holdings business continues to diversify its business streams into the future metals and energy space with another great award to the Primero Group team in the electric vehicle space with Core Lithium.”

The August definitive feasibility study on Finniss outlined a Stage 1 mine life of eight years with average production of 173,000 t/y at 5.8% Li2O.

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.

Golding Contractors to keep mining Phosphate Hill operation for another five years

NRW Holdings Ltd’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Golding Contractors, has signed a five-year contract extension with Southern Cross Fertilisers.

The contract with the Incitec Pivot subsidiary means Golding’s mining agreement at Phosphate Hill, in Queensland, Australia, will extend to September 6, 2026.

The expected contract extension value is anticipated to be between A$110-$120 million ($82-89 million) over the term.

Incitec Pivot agreed to purchase Southern Cross Fertilisers, then Australia’s only producer of ammonium phosphate fertilisers, from BHP for A$165 million back in 2006. The operation produced 979,300 t of ammonium phosphates in Incitec Pivot’s 2020 financial year to September 30, 2020.

Golding’s existing mining fleet will continue to operate in the mine and gypsum operations, with new capital spend limited to replacement of select light and medium vehicles, NRW said.

Golding employs around 80 people at the mine that operates on a fly-in fly-out arrangement from Townsville in northern Queensland.

NRW CEO & Managing Director, Jules Pemberton, said: “This contract extension reaffirms the strong relationship Golding has formed with Southern Cross Fertilisers at Phosphate Hill for more than a decade now, under various contract arrangements, and reflects our ability to secure repeat business through the quality and value of our service offering.”

NRW’s Golding set for contract extension at Coronado’s Curragh coking coal mine

Golding Contractors, a wholly-owned subsidiary of NRW Holdings Ltd, looks set to keep mining at the Curragh coking coal complex in Queensland, Australia, after the contractor and Coronado Curragh, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Coronado Global Resources, signed a letter of intent (LoI) to extend the current six fleet mining services contract beyond September 30, 2021.

Under the terms of the LoI, the mining services contract continues such that negotiations underway in respect of a proposed amended contract can be completed with the intention, subject to agreement as to terms, to extend the relationship with Curragh to December 31, 2026.

The expected contract value is anticipated to be between A$1-1.4 billion ($734 million-1.03 billion), dependant on final scope.

Under this new arrangement, it is anticipated that Golding will spend up to A$46 million on capital equipment, continuing to employ around 500 people at the mine, most of which live in the Central Queensland region.

NRW CEO and Managing Director, Jules Pemberton, said: “This agreement maintains the relationship Golding have established at Curragh Mine since 2014 and reflects our continued ability to support of our client’s mine plans.”

Curragh has been operating since 1983 and, in 2017, was the sixth largest metallurgical coal mine in Australia by met coal production, according to Coronado Global Resources.

NRW’s METS business takes flight with Primero’s latest contract awards

The first build own operate (BOO) contract initiatives, and the first major engineering, procurement, site support and commissioning contract in West Africa are some of the highlights from Primero Group’s latest contract awards.

The company, acquired by NRW Holdings earlier this year, has recently been awarded new contracts totalling circa-A$155 million ($114 million) with key clients. It has also progressed strategic initiatives that provide further strength to the group offering within the newly formed Minerals, Energy and Technology (METS) business under the NRW Holdings banner, NRW said. RCR Mining Technologies and DIAB Engineering also feature under the METS business.

“These include the award of the group’s BOO contract initiatives crystalising the strategic direction deployed by the group to enter the market of ownership and operation of processing infrastructure,” it said. “The equipment is designed, fabricated and constructed internally utilising the METS division companies and focuses on enabling the infrastructure to be relocatable, in alignment with other material handling products already being offered by the group.”

Primero has been awarded two key contracts with Mt Gibson Iron. The first is for the upgrade of the Koolan Island crushing circuit under an engineering and construction contract off the coast of Western Australia. The second is a two-year fixed crushing contract at the Shine development project in the Mid-West region of Western Australia under a BOO arrangement, with an option to extend.

Also, in the iron ore space and Western Australia, Primero has been awarded a four-year contract for crushing services at Atlas Iron’s proposed Miralga Creek operation in the Pilbara region. The contract provides crushing services for 2 Mt/y under a BOO scenario and will commence in early 2022.

In West Africa, meanwhile, Primero has secured its first major engineering, procurement, site support and commissioning contract for the Abujar gold project in Côte d’Ivoire, owned by Tietto Minerals. “The project award demonstrates the groups continuing growth and maturity in minerals processing engineering execution and diversity in capability across multiple commodities in the group,” NRW said.

The project is at a 3.5 Mt/y throughput scale with most of the contract revenue to be recognised in NRW’s 2022 financial year.

Back in Western Australia, meanwhile, Primero has been awarded the Mt Holland water supply pipeline construction contract from Covalent Lithium. The project follows on from the design services that Primero was awarded in October 2020 and completed including detailed construction planning and methodology for the 130 km pipeline and associated pumping facilities.

Site construction works have commenced, and the project is scheduled for completion in the March quarter of 2022.

As an updated note, Primero confirms the previously announced letter of intent with Panoramic Resources for the contract operations of the Savannah Nickel project has been finalised into a binding contract with a term of three years, as per Panoramic announcement dated April 6, 2021.

Work has already commenced in the preparation and operational readiness for the recommencement of the concentrator operations in-line with the announced restart plan of the mine in the September quarter with first shipments planned in December.

NRW CEO, Jules Pemberton, said: “The ongoing development of the METS pillar of the NRW Holdings Group is continuing to provide further success and market penetration within key client groups in our sector. Primero, as the newest addition to that group, has added significant capability and these recent contract awards showcase the diversity, capability and the expanding capacity of the group across multiple commodities and services.”

NRW Holdings to deliver solar power solution for Rio’s Gudai Darri

NRW Holdings has secured two new contracts from Rio Tinto, one of which will see it enter the renewable energy fold with an agreement to deliver a 34 MW solar photovoltaic system at the Gudai Darri mine in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

This contract is part of Rio Tinto’s commitment to reduce the carbon footprint of its operations with a stated target to reach net zero emissions by 2050, NRW said, adding that the contract value is approximately A$60 million ($44 million).

The scope of work for the solar farm includes design, procurement, construction, testing and commissioning of all equipment including a 33 kV substation to be integrated into the overall Rio Tinto Iron Ore infrastructure, including remote control and monitoring via the Rio Tinto Iron Ore Remote Operation Centre.

The solar farm will be connected to the Rio Tinto grid at the Gudai Darri Central Substation via a 6-km long overhead powerline and fibre-optic link, which is not included in the NRW scope.

Design and procurement will commence immediately followed by commencement of construction in August 2021. Construction and commissioning are scheduled for completion in early 2022, it said.

Jules Pemberton, NRW’s Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, said: “Securing this work recognises the broader delivery capability of the business and NRW’s long-standing experience of delivering projects for Rio Tinto in the Pilbara. Renewable energy represents an increasing opportunity for the group in particular captive projects like this where the energy output is integrated to the client’s network.”

Alongside this announcement, NRW said it had been awarded the Stage 3 Expansion Works at the Nammuldi Waste Fines Storage (WFSF) facility. The works to be undertaken for this project are the Stage 3 expansion to the existing WFSF for Hamersley Iron Pty Ltd, a Rio subsidiary that manages the joint venture Nammuldi operation (53% owned by Rio, 33% owned by Mitsui Iron Ore Development, 10.5% owned by Nippon Steel Australia and 3.5% owned by Sumitomo Metal Australia), at the Nammuldi Below Water Table (NBWT) project.

The site is around 60 km northwest of Tom Price, with the WFSF Stage 3 expansion consisting of raising the existing earth fill embankment by a further 6 m using the downstream method with associated earthworks along with mechanical upgrades to water management structures, waste fines deposition lines and pond decant infrastructure.

The expansion works to be undertaken will achieve the ultimate limit currently permitted for the WFSF, NRW said.

Construction works will start in mid-August 2021 with all works complete in June 2022. A work force of about 75 personnel will be engaged on the project which has a contract value of circa-A$26.5 million.

Mining fleet changes hands at Boggabri coal operation

Most of the major mining equipment used at the Boggabri coal mine in New South Wales, Australia, is to be sold to Boggabri Coal Operations (BCO), part of the Idemitsu Group, following the exercise of an option between BCO and Golding Contractors, a subsidiary of NRW Holdings.

The transaction for the fleet, which includes 38 major mobile mining assets, has a target completion date of the end of July 2021.

Golding will continue to perform maintenance services on site across these, and another 50 (approximately) pieces of major mining equipment, engaging a workforce of over 150 personnel on site, NRW said.

The equipment will be sold for circa-A$81 million ($61 million) of which circa-A$64 million will pay down asset financing debt, NRW said.

NRW’s CEO and Managing Director, Jules Pemberton, said: “The option for BCO to acquire all or part of the associated mining fleet was identified at the time of the acquisition of BGC Contracting. This transaction will reduce debt and increase return on capital employed.

“We look forward to continuing to support BCO to ensure we are best placed to continue to provide our services beyond the current contract completion date of December 2022.”

NRW in line for A$702 million Karara Mining iron ore gig

NRW has received a letter of intent from Karara Mining Ltd to carry out mining services works at the Karara iron ore mine in the Gascoyne region of Western Australia.

Subject to reaching agreement with Karara, the anticipated value of the contract is around A$702 million ($529 million) over a five-year duration with a project workforce averaging circa-250 personnel.

MACA, through its recently acquired Mining West business, currently holds the contract mining agreement at Karara.

The works to be performed include load and haul, drill and blast, and run of mine re-handling. The drill and blast component will be undertaken by NRW’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Action Drill & Blast Pty Ltd. In addition, the work includes train loading and re-handling of the product stockpiles together with “miscellaneous day works” at the mine site, camp and access roads.

Karara is the largest mining operation and the first major magnetite mine in the Mid West region. It produces a premium, high-grade concentrate that it exports to steelmakers.

“With an expected mine life of 30-plus years, Karara’s operation includes a large open-pit mine, complex ore processing and beneficiation plant and significant infrastructure and logistics networks,” NRW said.

NRW estimates an equipment capital expenditure of around A$170 million to be progressively spent over the term, which will include the purchase of three 600 t face shovel excavators and a fleet of 220 t trucks.

NRW CEO, Jules Pemberton, said: “With a strong local presence in the area through our Geraldton-based DIAB Engineering business and our mining contract with Gascoyne Resources at the Dalgaranga mine site, we look forward to continuing to support the existing and highly experienced workforce on site through this transition, as well as creating employment opportunities for the Gascoyne region community.”

Karara CEO, Changjiang Zhu, said: “NRW is an established Western Australia-based mining and civil contractor with extensive open-cut mining experience gained through a number of successful mining operations in the state. Offering new prime equipment, NRW has the capability to undertake the entire Karara scope of work comprising a broad range of mining, construction and engineering services.

“We look forward to negotiation of an agreement with NRW and commencement of mining services early next year.”

NRW Holdings bags mining contract at NRR’s Roper Bar iron ore project

NRW Holdings has been awarded the mining contract for Nathan River Resources’ Roper Bar iron ore project in the Northern Territory of Australia.

Roper Bar has a fully integrated ‘pit-to-port’ logistics chain including a privately-owned 171-km paved access road to an existing barge load-out facility and product stockyard, according to NRW.

The project was commissioned in October 2020 with first direct shipping ore (DSO) exports in November. Production ramp-up is nearing completion, with four vessels now completed (around 220,000 t). An offtake agreement exists between Glencore and NRR for the marketing and distribution of iron ore from the project.

This contract award covers the Stage 1 operations at Roper Bar, with production of 4.6 Mt of DSO and 1 Mt of dense media separation production at 1.5-1.8 Mt/y over three years. The contract scope includes drill and blast, load and haul, clearing and grubbing, top-soil and subsoil removal and rehandling of ore stockpiles.

The contract value is circa-A$123 million ($95 million) and has a duration of 33 months. At its peak, there will be around 55 site-based personnel on the project.

NRW’s CEO and Managing Director, Jules Pemberton, said: “NRW is pleased to be involved in the recommencement of the Nathan River mine site and looks forward to its successful execution.”

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.