200 workers let go after Laing O’Rourke lose Roy Hill contract

Laing O’Rourke has lost a $215 million contract at Roy Hill mine after a commercial dispute with head contractor Samsung C&T.

More than 200 workers have been made redundant as a result, with Laing O'Rourke in charge of the construction of structural steel and associated mechanical, piping, electrical and instrumentation works for the massive mine.

The contract also incorporated building the ore stockyard facilities to support the intermodal and export operations, comprising car dumpers, interconnection conveyors and transfer stations.

A Laing O’Rourke spokesman told Australian Mining the two companies were not able to resolve a dispute over “long-term commercial matters”.

“After lengthy negotiations, Samsung and Laing O’Rourke have been unable to agree these items and as a mutually-acceptable approach, terminated their contract under the convenience clause,” the spokesman said.

A smaller group of Laing O’Rourke workers remains at Roy Hill to secure the site and conduct a full handover to Samsung.

Despite the setback, Roy Hill chief executive Barry Fitzgerald said the incident would not prove to be a setback for the project.

"As head contractor, Samsung is ultimately responsible for delivery of the project within budget and schedule, and we respect their right and ability to make this decision," Fitzgerald said.

"Construction of the project is progressing well, with the project now more than 74 per complete."

The $10 billion iron ore mine is due for completion on September this year.

The project includes a new 55 million tonne per annum iron ore mine, 344 kilometres of railway and a new port at Port Hedland.

The project has been plagued by a number of safety breaches in the past few weeks, with the DMP forced to step in to issue prohibition notices.

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