EPC contract for WA Mt Holland Lithium project awarded to Primero Grp

Monica Gameng   |   September 10, 2021
Test drilling for Mount Holland project (cr: Wesfarmers)

Following the grant of a long-term lease for a new lithium refinery in Kwinana, another milestone has been reached on Covalent Lithium’s Mount Holland project in Western Australia with the award of a major contract. 

Primero Group – a wholly owned subsidiary of NRW Holdings – has been awarded the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the Mount Holland concentrator project. This contract award will enable the processing of ‘run of mine’ ore at a rate of 2Mtpa as well as production of about 400,000 tonnes per annum of spodumene concentrate that will be fed into the new lithium hydroxide refinery at Kwinana. 

“We are pleased to see the continued growth of the Primero business and in particular the scale of projects and quality of clients they continue to attract to the group. The project has created opportunities for the combined businesses and provides a great platform for other clients to understand the depth, capability and capacity of the group as a whole from early project inception and feasibility through turnkey multi-discipline delivery and further,” NRW Holdings CEO Jules Pemberton said. 

Over the past 18 months, Covalent Lithium and Primero Group has been working together on several development phases for the project, resulting in the full award of the EPC contract. 

Primero Group’s scope of works under their contract will include the vertical delivery of engineering design of all disciplines, procurement of materials and equipment, site construction, commissioning as well as performance testing of the spodumene concentrator. 

Major construction activities on site are expected to commence in October of this year. 

“The award of the Mt Holland EPC contract is the culmination of an 18-month journey with the Covalent Lithium team and demonstrates the trust and solid working relationship between the groups in the development project. This project is not only a flagship project for Primero and our parent company NRW Holdings, but also a major project for Western Australia and the further development of the state’s battery minerals supply chain. We look forward to the challenge and ongoing relationship with Covalent,” Primero Group Managing Director Cameron Henry said. 

The Mount Holland mine and concentrator operations are located approximately 500 kilometres east of Perth and 105 kilometres south of Southern Cross, and it is expected to have a mine life of more than 40 years. 

The Mount Holland development will also include the delivery of a new lithium refinery within the Kwinana Strategic Industrial Area (SIA), about 35 kilometres south of Perth CBD and 15 kilometres south of Fremantle. You can read more about the lithium refinery project here. 

The entire integrated Mount Holland Lithium project is anticipated to create approximately 1,000 jobs construction jobs along with 350 operational jobs. 

Covalent Lithium is a joint venture between subsidiaries of Wesfarmers and Chilean company SQM.

Source: NRW Holdings; Covalent Lithium; Australian Mining 

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Monica Gameng
As Felix's Marketing Assistant since 2015, Monica is responsible for researching and sharing new and progressing projects within the construction and mining sectors in Australia. It's no surprise that Monica has her finger on the pulse of Australian major projects given she has produced more than 1,000 posts. She truly is an industry expert.
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