Bellevue Gold has awarded an EPC contract to GR Engineering Services (GRES) for its 1Mtpa processing plant at the Bellevue Gold project in Western Australia.

The Australian mining company awarded the contract through its fully owned subsidiary Golden Spur Resources for a total fixed contract price of A$87.8m ($60.7m).

Under the terms of the agreement, Bellevue will pay up to A$7.5m of the contract price in Bellevue shares, aligning GRES with the project.

Bellevue said that the contract forms the last of the large capital expenditure items, with 90% of the project’s pre-production expenditure being funded through contracts or tenders.

Bellevue managing director Steve Parsons said: “The appointment of GRES to build our processing plant means we have yet another tier-one contractor helping ensure we meet all our operating and financial targets.

“GRES knows the Bellevue project well, having been involved in the early studies. And they are extremely experienced in designing and building gold plants in WA.

“Their readiness to accept Bellevue shares as part-payment is a strong vote of confidence in our project and the outlook for our company.”

Bellevue intends to build the processing plant such that its throughput can be expanded to 1.2Mtpa, without any additional expenses.

The plant design will incorporate adequate headroom to support an increase in throughput to 1.2Mtpa with no additional capital required across the entire plant.

In addition, the design facilitates the further expansions of the plant beyond 1.2Mtpa without additional expense.

Bellevue has been advised by the Environmental Protection Authority, and completed the environmental review process, with plans to start production in the second half of next year.

GR Engineering had already commenced the works at the Bellevue Gold project, under a preliminary works agreement signed in May this year.

GR Engineering managing director Geoff Jones said: “Our clients are increasingly seeking certainty and a track record of performance and GR Engineering has been able to demonstrate this to Bellevue, including by reference to its strong track record of successful project outcomes in the Western Australian gold sector.”