Tag Archives: Mardie

BCI Minerals signs up WHBO Infrastructure, Engenium for Mardie work

BCI Minerals Limited has confirmed around A$90 million ($68 million) of contract awards for its Mardie Salt & Potash project, in Western Australia, ahead of a final investment decision (FID).

The initial earthworks contract has been awarded to WBHO Infrastructure, a contractor with a long history of project delivery excellence in large civil construction projects and a strong presence in Western Australia.

The contract includes initial construction of the large-scale trial pond scheduled to commence in April, as well as construction of evaporation ponds 1 and 2, on terms aligned with definitive feasibility study (DFS) budget assumptions once the FID is achieved and required tenure and approvals are in place. The total earthworks volume in this scope is approximately 800,000 cu.m over an area of 24 sq.km.

Engenium, the successful tenderer for the Project Management Contractor role, is a Western Australian company with offices in Perth and Karratha. Engenium, which recently signed a letter of intent that could see it acquired by Stantec, was selected for its local and experienced team, proven track record in project delivery and construction management, excellent health and safety record and pricing within the DFS budget, BCI said.

“The PMC is an important contract in the overall execution of the Mardie project which will see Engenium manage the construction program through the provision of people and systems as an extension of the BCI owners’ team,” it said. “Engagement of Engenium on a staged basis will also support BCI to achieve construction-ready status ahead of main construction commencing in the second half of 2021.”

Various smaller contracts covering accommodation village expansion, minor earthworks, site surveys, communications, water supply, fuel storage and supply as well as the Karratha office fit-out have also been awarded this year. These works are all underway with Pilbara-based contractors expanding Mardie village and fitting-out the Karratha office and local indigenous companies carrying out aboriginal heritage surveys and minor earthworks.

BCI’s Managing Director, Alwyn Vorster, said: “The award of the initial earthworks contract, in particular, represents a key milestone in BCI’s progress toward main construction and demonstrates board confidence in Mardie’s development pathway. These contracts will be initially funded from BCI’s healthy cash balance and strong Iron Valley royalty income.”

The Mardie DFS outcomes indicated that the production of 4.4 Mt/y of high purity salt and 120,000 t/y of premium sulphate of potash (SOP) fertiliser was technically and financially viable. The total capital cost came in at A$779 million and the pre-tax net present value (7% discount) was A$1.197 billion.

A FID by the BCI Board is targeted in the June quarter, which will be followed by completion of the funding task. Construction could commence in mid-2021, which will allow for first salt sales in 2024 and first SOP sales in 2025, the company says.

BCI Minerals brings in GR Engineering for Mardie potash DFS

BCI Minerals says it has appointed GR Engineering Services as the lead engineer for the Mardie salt and potash project definitive feasibility study (DFS) on the northwest coast of Western Australia.

As lead DFS engineer, GR Engineering will be responsible for coordination and integration of the process and engineering design packages for the ponds and crystallisers, salt plant, sulphate of potash (SOP) plant and port facilities. It will also prepare and verify the DFS level capital and operating cost estimates and will undertake the design and supervision of pre-final investment decision site works and supporting infrastructure during 2019.

BCI said: “GR Engineering is a reputable Perth-based engineering group with significant experience in study management, engineering design and construction of resource projects in Western Australia and globally, both as engineering, procurement, construction and management and EPC contractor.

“Members of the GR Engineering team nominated for this engagement have appropriate experience in salt operation and sulphate of potash study management.”

Following completion of a prefeasibility study during the June 2018 quarter, BCI commenced the Mardie DFS. As well as improving design accuracy and further de-risking the project, BCI is aiming for the DFS to improve on the PFS development plan and business case in a number of key areas, including:

  • Increasing the production capacity to 4 Mt/y salt and 100,000 t/y SOP;
  • Establishing the tenure, approvals and designs for a fit-for-purpose export facility at the Mardie site, which will eliminate haulage costs to the Cape Preston East Port site, and;
  • Establishing test ponds and completing construction of project support infrastructure to bring forward the target date for first salt and SOP production.

The site works GR Engineering will initially carry out include a 135-ha trial pond, seawater intake pumps, circa-20 km upgrade of access roads, initial accommodation camp and power generation.

BCI’s Managing Director, Alwyn Vorster, said: “We are focused on delivering a high quality DFS that will place BCI in a strong position to reach a final investment decision by the first (March) quarter of 2020. GR Engineering’s technical ability and project management strengths will make them a valuable partner to BCI as Mardie is progressed towards full project construction.”

BCI’s areas of focus in the period to June 30, 2019, include:

  • Appointments of process design engineers (ponds, two plants and port);
  • Geotechnical drilling programme of pond, plant and port areas completed;
  • Construction of small-scale trial evaporators completed;
  • Port tenure negotiations with the Pilbara Port Authority(PPA);
  • Environmental Review Document submitted to the Environmental Protection Authority(EPA);
  • Construction of the 135-ha trial pond and supporting facilities (camp, roads, power, pumps) commenced;
  • Funding discussions with Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility and other entities progressed;
  • Product offtake potential developed, and;
  • Significant potential investor/financier briefings.

BCI said all activities until the final investment decision in Q1 2020 – estimated at A$25 million ($17.8 million) – will be funded from BCI’s existing A$36 million cash and the ongoing quarterly royalties from Iron Valley, the company said.