BCI has awarded $90 million worth of contracts for its Mardie salt and potash project in Western Australia over the first quarter of 2021.
Initial earthworks for the project has been granted to WBHO Infrastructure, which will construct the large-scale trial pond in April.
WBHO will also construct ponds 1 and 2 after a final investment decision (FID) is made.
Total earthworks for the project cover an area of 24 square kilometres.
Western Australian company Engenium has been selected as Mardie’s project contract manager due to its track record in project delivery and construction management, along with a strong health and safety record.
Engenium will manage the construction program as an extension of the BCI owners’ team as the project aims to commence main construction in the second half of 2021.
BCI managing director Alwyn Vorster welcomed the contractors and the benefits they were set to provide.
“The award of the initial earthworks contract in particular represents a key milestone in BCI’s progress toward main construction and demonstrates board confidence in Mardie’s development pathway,” he said.
“These contracts will be initially funded from BCI’s healthy cash balance and strong Iron Valley royalty income.”
BCI receives royalty payments from the Mineral Resources-operated Iron Valley iron ore mine in Western Australia.
BCI has also awarded smaller contracts for the project’s accommodation village expansion, minor earthworks, site surveys, water supply, fuel storage and supply, communications and the Karratha office.
BCI has not specified the companies involved, however local indigenous companies will be conducting aboriginal heritage surveys and minor earthworks.
The miner is hoping to advance Mardie to a Tier 1 project, capable of producing 4.4 million tonnes per annum of salt and 120,000 tonnes per annum of sulphate of potash (SOP) through the solar evaporation of seawater.