Leighton wins billion dollar Pilbara mining contract

In a reverse of the current trend, Leighton Contractors has been awarded a $1.5 billion, full service contract in the Pilbara.

The award sees its provide mining services at Fortescue's Firetail iron ore deposit.

According to Leighton, sits mining division will provide whole of mine management at the site, including operating and maintaining the open cut mining fleet, ore handling plants, and associated infrastructure.

It will add the miner in producing around 20 million tonnes of iron ore per annum from Firetail, which forms part of the wider Solomon Hub.

Hamish Tyrwhitt, Leighton Holding's CEO, said the contract is evidence of the group's ability to deliver long term sustainable growth.

"Leighton Contractors has worked with Fortescue to negotiate a win-win outcome whereby they provide the bulk of the capital to purchase the mining plant and equipment, and we bring our core competency of contract mining to add value for the client," Tyrwhitt said.

Fortescue's CEO Nev Power the award of the contract is a "key milestone in our expansion to 115 mtpa by the end of the March quarter 2013.

"This follows the commissioning of the second train unloader at Herb Elliot Port last week."


Craig Laslett, MD of Leighton Contractors, said this "is underpinned by our expertise in iron ore, in which we have mined and processed approximately 500 million tonnes over the last five year.

"This contract also provides the opportunity to improve efficiencies through the introduction of the latest technology in the mining industry."

Laslett added that the contract included a commitment to use graduates of Fortescue's indigenous training and employment program VTEC.

Leighton will be operations this month, with the contract expected to run for five years, with a two year extension option.

It will initially employ around 600 workers at the site.

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