Mardie Salt & Potash Project in WA gears towards construction

Monica Gameng   |   February 3, 2022
Mardie jetty (cr: McConnell Dowell)

BCI Minerals’ Mardie Salt and Potash Project in Western Australia is gearing towards construction following the award of a significant capital works contract and the granting of environmental approval from the Federal Government. 

The company has awarded a $190 million marine structures design and construction contract to McConnell Dowell and its scope of works include the design, supply, fabrication, construction, installation, testing as well as commissioning of the following project components: 

  • A piled 2.4-kilometre jetty structure with head-end platform, berthing and mooring dolphins. Its construction will involve anchoring more than 200 steel piles that are up to 30 metres long and weighs a total of 3,800 tonnes to the ocean floor 
  • A materials handling conveying system including a shiploader 
  • Non-process infrastructure comprising of fire suppression equipment, employee amenities, fixed crane, channel markers and other navigation aids 
  • Ancillary equipment, including security gates, CCTV, lighting, outfall pipe on jetty, diffuser, and emergency boat launcher 

“Mardie’s 2.4km jetty and transhipping system will result in a cost-effective logistics solution for the export of Mardie products. McConnell Dowell has significant experience designing and constructing similar structures and systems and has demonstrated exceptional safety standards, environmental controls, quality assurance frameworks and local community engagement. Award of the marine structures contract within our Optimised Feasibility Study capital cost estimate is a positive result given significant cost pressures in the construction industry,” Mardie Project Director Sam Bennett said in a statement released in December 2021. 

Subject to necessary approvals, McConnell Dowell will begin construction in the fourth quarter of 2022 and will take up to 24 months to complete. 

mardie-project-marine-structuresSource: BCI Minerals Limited

In addition to the contract award, the Department of Water, Agriculture and Environment (DAWE) has issued the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act Approval to the Mardie Salt and Potash Project. This key approval pushes the project a step closer to being built. 

BCI Minerals is also on track to finalising all secondary approvals necessary for the development of the project. 

“The Federal Government’s support for Mardie is evidence through a range of approvals, which also include $600 million of loan facilities and a “Major Project Status” allocation to Mardie. BCI has a strong commitment to environment and heritage protection and biodiversity conservation at Mardie,” BCI Minerals Managing Director Alwyn Vorster said. 

Main construction activities on the Mardie Salt and Potash Project are still on track to begin in early 2022. 

The Mardie Salt and Potash Project represents a rare, sustainable opportunity to develop a large-scale, multi-generational solar evaporation operation in the Pilbara region. 

Once completed, the new facility will have a capacity of up to 5.35 million tonnes annually of high purity salt and about 140 thousand tonnes a year of sulphate of potash over a 60-year life. 

The project is anticipated to have a peak workforce of 490 personnel during construction and up to 220 once operational.

Source: McConnell Dowell; BCI Minerals Limited (1, 2); NXT Mine 

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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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