Panoramic Resources has officially signed Barminco for the development of its Savannah nickel project in the Kimberley region of Western Australia.
Barminco was awarded the contract for $280 million over four years, after Panoramic provided a letter of intent in April.
Barminco is a subsidiary of Perenti for hard-rock underground mining.
Perenti managing director and chief executive officer Mark Norwell said this was an important step as Panoramic restarted the 18-year-old mine.
“We look forward to working together with the team at Panoramic to develop what we all expect will be Australia’s next long-life nickel producing mine,” Norwell said.
Savannah has a predicted mine life of 12 years, producing 9072 tonnes of nickel, 4683 tonnes of copper and 676 tonnes of cobalt in concentrate per year.
Barminco will require a workforce of up to 170 as the ramp-up continues in the second half of 2021.
Panoramic managing director and chief executive officer Victor Rajasooriar said the companies were already working well together.
“During the past two months we have built our owners team from less than 10 to more than 30, including the recruitment of senior mining engineering and geological roles which has been really heartening in a tight labour market across the sector,” Rajasooriar said.
“It has been fantastic to see both the Panoramic and Barminco teams quickly establish a working culture that sets up the Savannah mine for success.
“The teams have been working tirelessly to mobilise, commission, induct and now operate in a safe and well-planned manner”
Norwell said the company had worked hard to overcome some obstacles.
“Despite the challenging labour market conditions in Western Australia, we have been successful in mobilising a labour force of approximately 110 highly skilled underground employees,” Norwell said.
“We expect this to increase to 170 as the project ramps-up. Securing this labour force has enabled us to commence early works ahead of schedule
“We look forward to providing a safe and efficient service while delivering value and certainty for Panoramic.”
Barminco will aim to achieve full run rate of revenue early in the third quarter of financial year 2022.
The Savannah restart is expected to create 320 positions which will be mostly filled by a workforce of contractors, while Panoramic will maintain a low headcount of around 40.