Byrnecut has finalised a four-year contract with Galena Mining subsidiary Abra Mining that will see the company commence portal and decline development at the Abra base metals project.
The mining contractor has been working closely with Abra Mining since early 2020 when the original tender was developed.
Byrnecut had already ordered its equipment for the lead-silver project in the Gascoyne region of Western Australia, and factored in the necessary personnel and resource requirements in 2020.
The first 15 months of the contract will be focused on establishing the primary decline down to the orebody in time for commissioning of Abra’s processing plant in early 2023.
Abra Mining also announced its plant construction contract with GR Engineering is underway with key long lead items ordered.
“A major milestone has been achieved at Abra with the finalisation of the underground mining contract with Byrnecut, and the implementation of the process plant engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) with GR Engineering Services,” Galena managing director Tony James said.
“The Byrnecut mining contract is for four years, with the remainder of this year and the majority of next year focussed on gaining access to the orebody, 230m below surface.”
James said the Abra project’s personnel demand will gradually increase as the project nears first production.
“During this time the mine is effectively a ‘single heading’ decline and the manning requirements for that period are far lower than when the mine reaches commercial ore production in 2023,” he said.
“The actual mining work is expected to commence in the coming weeks. Equipment and labour have been sourced and are ready for mobilisation in the second half of September.”
With a total workforce of over 2300 employees, Byrnecut currently has 12 active underground contracts in Western Australia.
Across Byrnecut’s first 12 months at Abra, they will deploy between 30-40 employees to commence work.