As the lead engineer, BCI Minerals said GR Engineering will coordinate and integrate the process and engineering design packages for the mine's ponds and crystallisers, the salt plant, the SOP (sulphate of potash) plant and port facilities.
The firm will also prepare and verify the DFS-level capital and operating cost estimates, and additionally will design and supervise pre-FID site works and associated infrastructure at Mardie this year.
Site works, BCI officials added, will include a 135-hectare trial pond, as well as seawater intake pumps, about 20km of access road upgrades, power generation and an accommodation camp.
Short-term - through June 30, according to the miner - plans at Mardie include the appointments of the process design engineers for the ponds, plants and port; completion of a geotechnical drilling programme to include the pond, plant and port areas; construction of small-scale trial evaporators; port tenure negotiations with the Pilbara Port Authority; an environmental review document; commencement of the support facilities; funding discussions; development of product offtake potentials and significant potential investor briefings.
"We are focused on delivering a high-quality DFS that will place BCI in a strong position to reach a final investment decision by the first quarter of 2020," BCI managing director Alwyn Vorster said.
The miner is aiming for late 2019 primary approvals for Mardie, which it projects to be a 4-million-tonne-per-year salt and 100,000-tonne-per-year sulphate complex.