MACA wins Pilgangoora contract

Australian lithium developer Pilbara Minerals has awarded the open-pit mining contract for the development of its 100%-owned Pilgangoora lithium-tantalum project in Western Australia to the integrated mining services contractor MACA through its subsidiary MACA Mining
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Staff reporter

PRESS RELEASE: With an initial term for mining services of two years, plus three one-year options for Pilbara Minerals to extend, the contract is a key operational contract for the Pilgangoora project and its award follows the completion of a competitive tender process and extensive due diligence process examining safety, experience and capabilities.

The contract, which includes provision of drill & blast and load & haul services, is based on a mining rate of approximately 8Mt/y for the production of 2Mt/y of ore to meet the ore feed requirements of the Stage 1 project development.

All components of the contract are in line with the key parameters of the Stage 1 Pilgangoora project as outlined in the September 2016 definitive feasibility study. The mining method is based on conventional open-pit mining using truck and hydraulic excavator operations.

Mobilisation and establishment on site will commence shortly, with pre-stripping of the main Pilgangoora deposit expected to commence in November.

Mining activities will progressively ramp-up through the rest of 2017 and into the new year, in order to meet the company’s expected timetable of commencing shipments of spodumene concentrate to its customer base in China during the June quarter of 2018.

Ken Brinsden, managing director of Pilbara Minerals, said that the award of the open-pit mining contract was a key milestone for the Pilgangoora project, as site-based activities continued to ramp-up on several fronts.

He added: “The site is already a hive of activity, and this will only continue to increase in the coming weeks following the award of this pivotal contract as the MACA mining team begin to mobilise to site. MACA has vast experience working in the Pilbara region and they are a perfect fit with our organisation. This contract will employ around 70 personnel and will require the mobilisation of an extensive mining fleet comprising two hydraulic excavators, seven large capacity haulage trucks, drill rigs and numerous items of support equipment.

“We are looking forward to working closely with MACA over the coming years in the execution of this key contract and growing the subcontract and work opportunities for the Njamal people at the Pilgangoora project.”