Mining contractor NRW Holdings has secured a contract for bulk earthworks for the Iron Bridge magnetite project in Pilbara region of Western Australia (WA).

Being developed by a joint venture (JV) between FMG Magnetite (69%) and Formosa Steel IB (31%), the project involves new magnetite mine development and related infrastructure. It is located 145km south of Port Hedland.

Under the contract, which is worth A$70m ($47m), NRW will be responsible for the bulk earthworks and drainage for roads, processing plant and infrastructure. The contract is expected to take place over a period of approximately 45 weeks.

NRW CEO and managing director Jules Pemberton said: “NRW is pleased to be involved in this exciting new project with Fortescue and looks forward to its successful execution.”

NRW’s contract work for Iron Bridge project expected to create around 200 jobs

The contract work at the site is expected to create around 200 jobs during its peak period. The project will support production of 22Mtpa high-grade magnetite concentrate.

The site comprises magnetite iron ore deposits, namely North Star, Eastern Limb, Glacier Valley and West Star.

The magnetite project has a mine life of more than 20 years, and is planned to deliver the first ore in the first half of 2022.

Being developed in phases, the first phase of the project involved an estimated cost of $500m, while the second phase is expected to cost approximately $2.6bn.

The first phase of the project involved the construction of large-scale pilot and demonstration plants at the project.

Work under the stage 2 includes Stage 2 construction of an ore processing facility, an airstrip and expanded village, a 195km Canning Basin water pipeline and a 135km concentrate pipeline to Fortescue’s Herb Elliot port facility in Port Hedland.

FMG Iron Bridge is jointly owned by Australian iron ore producer Fortescue with 88% stake and a subsidiary of China’s Shanghai Baosteel Group with 12% interest.