Primero awarded further Rio contracts

Primero Group has been awarded contract variations by Rio Tinto worth around A$20 million (US$12 million)
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Staff reporter

The variations at the Koodaideri and Mesa K iron ore projects in the Pilbara, Western Australia, extend current work already being undertaken.

The variations awarded under the Mesa K contract reflect additional civil works at the Mesa J PP2 wet-processing facility, currently being developed as part of Rio's Robe Valley sustaining projects.

The additions to the Koodaideri contract reflect additional ‘options selections' that have now been confirmed and included for implementation.

The Mesa J works are expected to be completed this year, while the additional Koodaideri works are planned to be completed in line with the original contracted timeframe of mid-2021.

Primero said it continued to operate at a run-rate consistent with its FY20 contracted order book guidance of $195 million, but there was a high level of uncertainty over any potential future impacts due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company said current major projects with Rio and Fortescue Metals Group were still predominantly focused on off-site design engineering and procurement work, with site activities not due to ramp up until the second half of the year.

Primero said it would regularly review its FY20 order book guidance, as well as the $170 million contracted orders guidance previously provided for FY21.

The company said none of its workers had tested positive for coronavirus, and the company had implemented additional health and safety measures to protect its workforce.

Primero said it had cash of $14 million as of Friday, and debt of $6.1 million.

It expects its cash balance to rise to about $20 million by April 1 due to scheduled payment receipts.

Primero said it continued to target the financing of its substantial order book via progressive unwinding of the current elevated working capital position and potentially additional debt facilities.