Tag Archives: NRW Holdings

NRW’s Primero to work on Pilgangoora P680 Expansion Project

NRW Holdings subsidiary, Primero Group, has been awarded a contract by Pilgangoora Operations Pty Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Pilbara Minerals Limited, for work at the lithium processing plant that is part of the wider Pilgangoora operation, in Western Australia.

The works to be performed under the contract include upgrading the existing Pilgan lithium processing plant through the construction of a new primary rejection facility and preliminary work in connection with a new crushing and ore sorting facility.

Under the contract, Primero will be responsible for detailed earth and concrete works associated with both the primary rejection and crushing and sorting facilities, together with structural, mechanical, piping, electrical and instrumentation installation associated with the primary rejection facility. Primero will also assist with shutdown, brownfield’s integration and commissioning support to tie the facility into the existing Pilgan plant.

The contract is scheduled to run for approximately eight months, commencing in January 2023, and has an approximate value of A$62 million ($44 million).

NRW Managing Director, Jules Pemberton, said: “This contract builds on a long-term association between POPL and Primero that began with Primero’s involvement in the design and construction of the original Pilgan plant. We look forward to the successful completion of these works.”

The construction activities due to take place on the plant are part of the wider P680 Expansion Project Pilbara Minerals is working on. This could see the company step-up its production run-rate at the operation to a total of circa-680,000 t/y of spodumene concentrate across the combined Pilgangoora operation.

NRW subsidiary wins drill and blast contract at Talison’s Greenbushes lithium mine

NRW Holdings’ wholly-owned subsidiary, Action Drill & Blast Pty Ltd, has been issued a notice of award by Talison Lithium Australia for drill and blast services at the Greenbushes lithium mine in Western Australia.

This award follows the longstanding relationship Action has with Talison Lithium since Action commenced drill and blast activities on site in 2011.

The seven-year (plus two-year option) contract is valued at circa-A$300 million ($213 million) over the initial period and is scheduled to commence in July 2023.

The scope of works under the contract include ore, waste, pre-split and RC grade control drilling together with loading, stemming and initiation of bulk explosives. Plant requirements for the project will be sourced from within the Action business together with new equipment capital expenditure of circa-A$30 million over the life of the contract, it said.

The contract will require a peak workforce of some 160 personnel, including the 56 currently employed on site.

Action said the majority of the workforce will be sourced from the local community, building on current relationships and training programs.

Together with its predecessor company, Talison Lithium has been producing lithium concentrates at Greenbushes since 1983, which are ultimately used in lithium-ion batteries. The Greenbushes project, directly south and adjacent to the town of Greenbushes in Western Australia, is a major supplier of lithium mineral concentrates.

Atlantic Lithium brings in Primero for FEED flowsheet services at Ewoyaa

Atlantic Lithium has awarded the processing plant front-end engineering design (FEED) contract for its Ewoyaa lithium project in Ghana to Primero Group.

Under the terms of the agreement, Primero will provide services to optimise the project’s flowsheet, identify long lead items, look to maximise the project’s long-term profitability, reduce execution risk and ultimately support the advancement of the project towards becoming a financially and operationally robust lithium-producing mine, Atlantic Lithium said.

The value of the contract is $980,000; the consideration of which is to be paid in accordance with the three-stage earn- in agreement the company has with Piedmont Lithium Inc to fund the project towards production. This could see Piedmont invest up to $103 million in the project to eventually deliver a 1.5-2 Mt/y run of mine operation for a 27.5% stake in Atlantic Lithium’s Ghana portfolio.

Primero, a wholly-owned subsidiary of NRW Holdings Limited, specialises in the design, construction and operation of global resource projects. The group has extensive experience in delivering large-scale construction contracts, including in the lithium industry and in West Africa, demonstrating significant expertise, versatility and competence, Atlantic Lithium says.

Primero, the company says, has provided services for a number of lithium projects with comparable flowsheets to Ewoyaa’s, including Bald Hill (Tawana Resources), Pilgangoora (Pilbara Minerals), Finniss Lithium (Core Lithium), Mt Holland (Covalent Lithium) and Xuxa (Sigma Lithium).

Following the recent completion of the 47,000 m resource and exploration drilling program at the Ewoyaa project, Atlantic Lithium is currently working towards producing an updated mineral resource estimate (MRE), intended to be announced in the March quarter of 2023. The updated MRE will then be used to support a definitive feasibility study, expected to be completed by mid-2023.

NRW’s Action Drill & Blast set for long-term contract at Greenbushes lithium mine

NRW Holdings Limited’s wholly owned subsidiary, Action Drill & Blast Pty Ltd, has been issued a Notice of Award by Talison Lithium Australia Pty Ltd for drill and blast services at the Greenbushes lithium mine in Western Australia.

This award follows the longstanding relationship Action has had with Talison Lithium since Action commenced drill and blast activities on site in 2011, NRW said.

The seven-year (plus two-year option) contract is valued at circa A$300 million ($203 million) over the initial seven-year period and is scheduled to commence in July 2023.

The scope of works under the contract include ore, easte, pre-split and RC grade control drilling together with loading, stemming and initiation of bulk explosives.

Plant requirements for the project will be sourced from within the Action business together with new equipment capital expenditure of circa-A$30 million over the life of the contract.

The contract will require a peak workforce of some 160 personnel, including the 56 currently employed on site. The majority of the workforce will be sourced from the local community, building on current relationships and training programs, NRW said.

NRW Holdings’ Primero to operate and maintain Finniss lithium processing plant

NRW Holdings Limited’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Primero Group, has executed a long term contract for the operations and maintenance (O&M) of Core Lithium’s processing plant and related infrastructure at its Finniss lithium project in the Northern Territory of Australia.

Under the terms of the contract, Primero will operate and maintain the processing and infrastructure facilities at Finniss for an initial term of five years, with option to extend.

The estimated value of the contract is A$60 million ($38 million), and follows on from the current contract in execution for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) of Finniss, awarded to Primero in September 2021.

The O&M contract signed between Core Lithium and Primero highlights the unparalleled industry expertise and proven track record in lithium processing and operational excellence outcomes, NRW said.

“Primero continues to grow its portfolio of contract operation and maintenance services across the base and battery metals sectors with a strong track record of delivery and giving customers assurance of safe outcomes, accelerated plant ramp-up, ongoing operational excellence practices, and continuous improvement to achieve cost effective and optimised production outcomes,” it added.

Primero says it has the majority of key personnel on hand for deployment into the contract commencing from October 2022 and expects to complete all remaining recruitment and operational readiness activities by December 2022, ready for first production.

NRW CEO, Jules Pemberton, said: “The diversification of the Primero business into longer term operational contracts is continuing to grow with this award showcasing the depth and operational knowledge of the group, especially within the battery minerals sector. The capability to develop and operate assets of this nature is well aligned with the group’s strategy over the coming years and will continue to evolve with build own operate and equity style investments in projects. We look forward to a long-term relationship with Core Lithium.”

In mid-2021, Core released a definitive feasibility study for the Finniss project, marking a major milestone in its goal to become Australia’s next major lithium producer by the end of 2022.

The study highlighted an average production of 173,000 t/y of high-quality lithium concentrate at a C1 operating cost of $364/t and a start-up capital cost of A$89 million ($56 million) thanks to the incorporation of a 1 Mt/y DMS processing plant in the project’s design.

Thiess in leading position to take over fellow contract miner MACA

Thiess looks like winning the acquisition tussle for fellow contract miner MACA after an increased all-cash offer was recommended by the MACA Board and NRW Holdings said it would no longer be pursuing a potential deal.

Thiess recently increased its offer price from A$1.025 ($0.71) of cash per MACA share to A$1.0751 of cash per MACA share, with the increased offer price representing a premium of 49.2% to the MACA one-month volume weighted average price as at July 25, 2022.

This followed a merger approach from NRW Holdings in August, which implied a consideration of A$1.085/share, valuing the equity of MACA at A$375 million. MACA said it did not consider this merger proposal as superior to the existing Thiess offer, continuing to recommend shareholders accepted the offer from Thiess.

Following this latest increased offer from Thiess, NRW confirmed it no longer intended to pursue the acquisition of MACA.

Including the acceptances received from MACA founders and MACA directors, Thiess’ total relevant interest in MACA is currently 15.9%.

Thiess, in its initial Bidder Statement, said it intends to operate MACA in materially the same manner supported by MACA’s workforce, brand and assets, and to continue its highly regarded community partnerships.

The proposed acquisition of MACA by Thiess is consistent with its diversification strategy, with a particular emphasis on increasing its presence within metals and minerals hard-rock mining operations in Western Australia, it says.

To this point, the company’s Western Australian hard-rock mining exposure has consisted mostly of work with BHP’s Western Australia nickel assets, in addition to a recent contract award at the Covalent Lithium Joint Venture project.

MACA has exposure to the state’s iron ore sector thanks to contracts with Fortescue and BHP; the burgeoning gold segment through contracts with Regis Resources, Ramelius Resources, Capricorn Metals and Red 5; and nickel and lithium exposure from the Ravensthorpe mine and Pilgangoora project, respectively.

Thiess also said in its Bidder Statement that it sees “a significant opportunity to combine the operational capability of both companies to continue enhancing service quality, particularly in relation to technical solutions such as deploying autonomous machinery or reducing the carbon emissions of mining services on project sites”.

Back in March, MACA announced a partnership with SafeAI to form an MoU to retrofit a mixed fleet of 100 mining trucks across multiple locations with autonomous mining technologies.

With the satisfaction of the ACCC condition on August 26, 2022, the Thiess offer is only subject to FIRB approval, no Prescribed Occurrences, no issue of convertible securities, derivatives or other rights and 90% minimum acceptances, Thiess says.

Thiess’ revised offer is scheduled to close on September 12 unless otherwise extended.

NRW Holdings banks Olive Downs, Mt Webber work

NRW Holdings has added more work to its roster with confirmation of projects from the Olive Downs coking coal project in Queensland and the Mt Webber iron ore mine in Western Australia.

Golding Contractors, a subsidiary of NRW, has secured the rail civil construction contract for the Pembroke-owned Olive Downs project.

The civil works to be undertaken include a new 19-km rail loop for the new steelmaking coal project, including all earthworks, drainage culverts and construction of two new rail bridges. The scope also includes importing capping material up to underside of ballast.

The contract is valued at circa-A$52 million ($35 million) and is expected to have a duration of 14 months. In addition, Golding has also been awarded circa-A$15 million of bulk earthworks, drainage and roadworks relating to the new coal handling processing plant at Olive Downs.

Olive Downs is being developed to produce up to a forecast 15 Mt/y of saleable coal over its 79-year mine life.

NRW has also received an executed contract extension from Atlas Iron Pty Ltd for the mining and crushing services works at Mt Webber.

Some 220 km south of Port Hedland in the Pilbara Western Australia, Mt Webber has two mining areas in Fender and Dalton, which produces a high-grade lump and fines product that is used in the Atlas Iron supply chain.

The works to be continued include load & haul, drill & blast and run-of-mine re-handling and crushing and screening. The drill & blast and crushing components are to be undertaken by NRW’s wholly owned subsidiaries, Action Drill & Blast Pty Ltd and Primero Pty Ltd. Primero has designed, constructed and will operate a new PGX-1000 crushing plant to allow crushing and screening of up to 1,000 t/h.

The anticipated value of the contract extension is circa-A$60 million over a duration commencing July 2022 and expected to be completed by the end of 2024 with a project workforce averaging around 80 personnel.

EQ Resources enlists help of Golding for Mt Carbine tungsten development

EQ Resources Limited says it has executed an Early Engagement Contract with Golding Contractors Pty Ltd for the restart of the open-pit mining operations at the Mt Carbine Tungsten Mine, in Queensland, Australia.

EQR said it selected Golding, a subsidiary of NRW Holdings, as its preferred partner after working through a high-quality engagement and approval process.

“Early engagement was a preferred course for EQR as recent capital investment into the Mt Carbine processing plant is commissioning well and the company is receiving positive feedback from offtake partners for supply of our critical mineral product,” EQR’s Chief Executive Officer, Kevin MacNeill, said.

“EQR wants to deliver the highest quality outcome for the life of the Mt Carbine Mine for all stakeholders. Golding has strong credentials including specialist mine site rehabilitation works and environmental earthworks.

“Mt Carbine is ramping up treatment of its substantial low-grade surface resource as part of its joint venture with Cronimet with the next step in the development plan being the restart of its 100%-owned operations starting with the Andy White open pit, subject to the planned permit amendment. It’s a natural progression.”

Over the coming months, key areas of engagement and focus to finalise the mining contract and ensure smooth transition to mining operations will include:

  • Pit design: EQR is set to revise pit design in line with the recent drilling with Golding to maximise the strategic resource benefit and value for all stakeholders;
  • Equipment selection: In conjunction with the pit design under the contract, EQR and Golding will target strategic equipment selection to further optimise mining costs;
  • Contractor engagement: Golding will help manage the open-pit development through their in-house resources and network of preferred contractors to ensure compliance with Queensland mining legislation;
  • Stakeholder engagement: EQR and Golding will jointly engage local and strategic stakeholders regarding camp establishment, workshop establishment, personnel engagement, strategic regional suppliers and manufacturers; and
  • Timing: the open pit operations are forecast to begin during the first quarter of 2023.

EQ Resources, as a result of the acquisition of Mt Carbine Quarries in June 2019, now has 100% ownership of the two mining leases and surrounding exploration projects at the project. In a joint venture with Cronimet, the tungsten processing plant has been refurbished, commissioned and expanded to 300,000 t/y capacity.

The company is in the process of completing the required environmental amendments to allow the operation to process 300,000 t/y and eventually 1 Mt/y. Once the bulk test work is completed, a feasibility study will be completed for the design of the 1 Mt/y operation.

NRW’s Golding subsidiary extends mining pact at Baralaba North PCI mine

NRW Holdings Limited says its Golding Contractors Pty Ltd subsidiary has received a Binding Letter of Intent to enter into a 5.5-year Mining Services Agreement with Wonbindi Coal Pty Ltd at the Baralaba North Mine in Queensland’s Bowen Basin.

The award is valued at approximately A$800 million ($592 million) and, the company says, continues the strong relationship between Golding and Wonbindi Coal Pty Ltd where Golding has provided the Contract Mining Services at the Baralaba North Mine over the last four years.

The scope of work remains the same and includes maintaining and operating a client owned fleet of equipment, producing an ultra-low volatile pulverised coal injection coal. The original contract included overall mine planning; the removal of topsoil; drilling, blasting, loading and hauling overburden; loading and hauling of coal; and handling coal through the crushing and screening plant.

The agreement will commence on July 1, 2022.

Golding Contractors banks A$600 million extension at SIMEC’s iron ore operations

NRW Holdings Limited’s wholly owned subsidiary, Golding Contractors Pty Ltd, has signed a contract with OneSteel Manufacturing Pty Ltd, trading as SIMEC Mining, to extend the current Mining Services Agreement (MSA) for a further three years.

Under the terms of the MSA, the term is extended until January 31, 2025, with an option for SIMEC Mining to extend the contract for up to another three years. The contract value for the initial three-year extension is around A$600 million ($429 million).

Under this new arrangement, Golding will continue to provide mine planning, load and haul, and maintenance services at the South Middleback Ranges and Iron Baron Mining Area, in South Australia, as well as the recommencement of a third mining area at Iron Knob.

Golding will continue to employ approximately 600 people at the mines, most of which live in the Whyalla district of South Australia or in the Adelaide region.

NRW CEO & Managing Director, Jules Pemberton, said: “This extended agreement is particularly pleasing as an example of a Golding team working closely with our client to generate sustained cost-effective solutions.”