Western Areas has awarded Barminco a $200 million development and production contract for the Odysseus project at the Cosmos nickel operation in Western Australia.
The contract will be in place for five years as Western Areas aims to establish its third Western Australia nickel mine with Odysseus and extends Barminco and Western Areas’ 15-year relationship.
“We are excited to continue our relationship with the Western Areas team, which began in 2005 at Forrestania, and has now grown to include the Cosmos nickel Operation. Odysseus is a significant project to bring on-stream, and the five-year term demonstrates the trust and confidence Western Areas has in Barminco to continuously improve and deliver for them,” Barminco chief executive Paul Muller said.
Western Areas also provided an update to its construction activity at the Odysseus mine, which involved the completion of the rehabilitated main access decline.
Western Areas managing director Dan Lougher said the progress had avoided any major COVID-19 impacts, with delivery of the first ore tonnes from underground expected in the 2022 fiscal year (FY22).
“We have reached a critical milestone with the firing of the full-face development of the Odysseus decline, which is now heading across to the orebody. A significant amount of preparation and support work has been delivered across the site to reach this milestone. We now have our eye on the delivery of the first ore tonnes mined from underground in the first quarter of FY22,” he said.
Western Areas expects to deliver first nickel concentrate at Odysseus in the second quarter of the 2023 fiscal year.
The company acquired the Cosmos nickel operations in October 2015 and started redevelopment of the Odysseus mine in January 2019.