Australia-based NRW Holdings has secured a letter of intent (LoI) from lithium producer Allkem in line with a mining services contract worth A$332m ($220m) for the Mt Cattlin open-pit lithium mine in Western Australia.

Under the contract, the services provider will offer load and haul, drill and blast and material rehandling for the open-pit lithium mine.

The mining services contract at Mt Cattlin mine will be for a period of 36 months.

Located about 2km north of Ravensthorpe in the Great Southern region of Western Australia, the Mt Cattlin lithium mine restarted its operations in late 2016 to produce spodumene concentrate.

NRW expects to support the lithium project with a workforce of about 140 people.

The company will utilise an existing fleet that has 200-250 tonnes class excavators and 150 tonnes class trucks together with an ancillary plant.

Currently, Mobilisation is ongoing, preparing for the commencement of works on site in August 2023, said NRW.

NRW CEO Jules Pemberton said: “I am delighted to announce that NRW has been selected by Allkem as its preferred contractor for the mining services contract.

“NRW is a world-leading provider of services across all aspects of the Lithium sector and we look forward to a long and successful partnership with Allkem.”

The formal award of the contract is subject to finalising outstanding terms.

Last month, Allkem and Livent agreed to an all-stock merger of equals that will value the combined company at $10.6bn.

Following the closing of the deal, shareholders of Allkem will own nearly 56% stake in the combined company, while Livent shareholders will hold the remaining 44% stake.