RCR wins $138m lithium plant con­tract

Pilbara News - - News - Stu­art McKin­non

RCR Tomlinson has won a $138 mil­lion con­tract to build a pro­cess­ing plant for Pil­bara Min­er­als’ Pil­gan­goora lithi­um­tan­ta­lum mine in the Pil­bara.

The en­gi­neer­ing, pro­cure­ment and con­struc­tion con­tract will be staged sub­ject to PLS mak­ing a fi­nal in­vest­ment de­ci­sion on the project and will have scope to in­crease to a max­i­mum value of $148 mil­lion.

The con­tract value ex­cludes sev­eral crit­i­cal long-lead items pro­cured by Pil­bara Min­er­als, in­clud­ing the fil­ter press, ball mill and high-pres­sure grind­ing roller.

The scope of the work in­cludes the 2mtpa pro­cess­ing plant, in­clud­ing wet and dry cir­cuit with con­cen­tra­tor, as­so­ci­ated plant and com­mis­sion­ing.

RCR said it would use its WA work­shops to sup­port and per­form some of the fab­ri­ca­tion re­quired for the project.

The stage one front-end en­gi­neer­ing and de­sign com­po­nent of the con­tract is worth $10.3 mil­lion and will be­gin im­me­di­ately along with pro­cure­ment of ma­jor equip­ment.

Sub­ject to a fi­nal in­vest­ment de­ci­sion, ex­pected in March, Pil­bara Min­er­als has the op­tion but not the obli­ga­tion to com­mit to the stage two con­struc­tion which is planned to be­gin in May.

The pro­cess­ing plant is sched­uled for com­mis­sion­ing in the De­cem­ber quar­ter with first pro­duc­tion in the be­gin­ning of cal­en­dar 2018.

RCR has en­gaged Min­novo and Primero as key tech­ni­cal and en­gi­neer­ing sub­con­trac­tors for the works.

Man­ag­ing di­rec­tor and chief ex­ec­u­tive Paul Dal­gleish said the con­tract was the re­sult of the com­pany’s in­tel­li­gent en­gi­neer­ing ap­proach to pro­vid­ing an in­dus­try lead­ing tech­ni­cal so­lu­tion to Pil­bara Min­er­als.

“It will also in­crease RCR’s or­der book to a new record high of ap­prox­i­mately $1.1 bil­lion,” he said.

PLS man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Ken Brins­den said the terms of the EPC con­tract were ex­tremely com­pet­i­tive.

“The com­bined ex­pe­ri­ence of RCR, Primero and Min­novo has made for a very com­pelling of­fer­ing,” he said.

“Primero’s ex­pe­ri­ence in build­ing and op­er­at­ing lithium plants, Min­novo’s de­sign ex­pe­ri­ence, and the con­struc­tion ca­pa­bil­ity of RCR en­sures Pil­bara will be well served.

“With project fund­ing dis­cus­sions well ad­vanced and fi­nal en­vi­ron­men­tal ap­provals now un­der way, Pil­bara looks for­ward to start­ing the ma­jor con­struc­tion works by the end of this quar­ter.”

PLS said it had also awarded a $4.8 mil­lion con­tract to OTOC Aus­tralia, for the first stage of the 90km re­lo­ca­tion of the 300-room Roy Hill work­ers camp to a new site at Pil­gan­goora.

PLS said the re­main­ing con­tract pack­ages for the Pil­gan­goora project were ei­ther un­der ne­go­ti­a­tion or would be the sub­ject of ten­der pro­cesses shortly.

Pic­ture: Ian Munro

RCR Tomlinson man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Paul Dal­gleish.

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