Mining and Heavy Industries, Staffing, Recruitment & Training

Nickel West operations contract handed out

BHP Billiton Nickel West. Photo: BHP Billiton

Mining giant BHP Billiton has awarded a $160m contract for operations at its Rocky’s Reward nickel mine at Leinster, roughly 400km north of Kalgoorlie in WA.

Australian integrated construction, mining and services provider Thiess announced on August 10 it had been awarded the 30-month operations contract at Rocky’s Reward, an open-pit operation within BHP Billiton Nickel West’s Leinster mine complex.

The contract commenced this month.

Thiess will provide turnkey mining services including mine planning, explosives, drill and blast services, overburden and ore mining, and overarching technical support.

CIMIC – formerly known as Leighton Holdings – is the parent company for Thiess, along with Leighton Contractors and others.

Chief executive Marcelino Fernández Verdes said the contract is testament to Thiess’ ability to deliver safe, cost‐effective and productive operations for our mining clients.

Thiess was also awarded its first project in the Americas in July, signing a $137m services agreement for Emenco’s Encuentro Oxides open pit copper mine in Chile. Verdes said this contract also demonstrated the company’s superior position in the mining sector.

“We are continuing to tender for more mining work and expect further contracts to be awarded to the group in the near future,” he said.

“Following on from Thiess’s recent entry into Chile’s copper market, the Rocky’s Reward nickel project provides further diversification by both commodity and geography.”

Thiess managing director Michael Wright said the Rocky’s Reward contract marked the company’s re‐entry into the Goldfields region of WA.

He said Thiess succeeded based on its innovative, technical approach to mining, and a commitment to aligning with clients’ objectives.

“[The Rocky’s Reward contract] builds on the partnership we first established with BHP Billiton Nickel West at the nearby Mt Keith operations in 2003,” Wright said.

A member of the BHP Billiton group, Nickel West is a fully integrated nickel business comprising the Mt Keith, Cliffs and Leinster mines, the Kalgoorlie smelter, the Kambalda concentrator and the Kwinana refinery.

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