Fortescue Metals Group has awarded a $1.8 billion mining contract to Macmahon.
The contractor stated that this is the largest ever mining award it has won, adding that it further underpins its strategy to become a full service mining contractor.
Macmahon will now provide open cut mining services as part of the Christmas Creek mine expansion for Fortescue.
it will named as the preferred contractor for the site in October last year.
Ross Carroll, Macmahon's CEO, said the new five year Pilbara contract is extremely significant, adding that it brings the company's order book up to $3.6 billion – the highest in its history.
Fortescue added that the contractor will provide "all aspects of mine operations including drill and blast, overburden removal, ore harvesting, maintenance of equipment, and associated services for the Christmas Creek expansion".
Macmahon will move around 300 million bank cubic metres of iron ore and associated overburden during the project.
Carroll stated that "this is an exciting project that builds on the existing success of our surface mining operations".
Work has already commenced with onsite infrastructure underway and the mining of overburden, harvesting, and drilling also in progress.
Macmahon has hired around 6000 people for the project, in addition to more than 500 employees already on the site.
It will operate and maintain Christmas Creek's fleet, which includes 400t and 600t class excavators, 190-300t capacity dump trucks, 200t wheel loaders, drills, and other support equipment.
Capital costs are expected to reach around $30 million during the contract.
Fortescue's CEO, Nev Power, added that "the Christmas Creek expansion has increased the capacity of the Chichester Operations to 95 mtpa and is a key component of Fortescue's expansion to 155mtpa by December 2013".