BCI Minerals has granted a $16 million contract to Western Australian company Ertech’s Geomarine business for the construction of a main seawater pump structure at its Mardie Salt and Potash project.
Mardie’s main pump structure will be represented by six 3000-litre-per-second pumps.
The contract will see Ertech handle the design, procurement, construction and commissioning of all the earthworks, piling, structural steel, concrete, mechanical and electrical installations required to accommodate and operate the pumps.
The aim is for the primary seawater pump station to pump 160 gigalitres of water into BCI’s evaporation ponds each year, equivalent to approximately 70,000 Olympic swimming pools.
The Ertech Group’s 40-year track record in safely delivering mine-site, transport and marine infrastructure was a key consideration in the contract.
Ertech also has a long-term commitment to developing local industry and Indigenous capability.
The contract comes as BCI provided an update for its Mardie operation, revealing the construction of its southern trial pond has commenced and its northern embankment trial is nearing completion.
The announcements provide assurance for the project and are an essential precursor to main construction.
Located on the Pilbara coast of Western Australia, the Mardie Salt and Potash project offers BCI’s subsidiary Mardie Minerals the opportunity to develop a large-scale solar evaporation operation.
Mardie aims to produce 5.35 million tonnes per annum of high-purity salt and 140,000 tonnes per annum of sulphate of potash via solar evaporation of seawater.
Salt is an important resource for the chemical and manufacturing industries, and is also used to produce glass, polyester, plastics and leather.
The contract is fully funded from BCI’s existing cash balance of $110M at July 31.