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Indigenous contractor Warrikal has been awarded a five-year $350 million contract as one of the providers of maintenance and shutdown services at Fortescue Metals Group’s Pilbara operations.

The company has provided mechanical maintenance, shutdown and project services across Fortescue’s sites over the past three years.

Warrikal chief executive officer Amanda Healy said the contract built on the company’s long-standing relationship with Fortescue.

“We look forward to further developing our relationship over coming years, continuing to grow our operational footprint in the North West of Western Australia and strengthening our long-term commitment to the region and the communities in which we operate,” Healy said.

“The award of this contract and the continual business growth is a testament to our amazing personnel and our reputation for delivering ‘Innovative Engineering Solutions’ across multiple disciplines, whilst maintaining a high standard of safety and quality as a true reflection of each and every Warrikal team member.”

The contract was awarded as part of Fortescue’s Billion Opportunities program, which was established in 2011 as part of the Company’s commitment to deliver business development opportunities for Aboriginal people with a strong focus on Traditional Custodian involvement.

More than $3 billion in contracts have been awarded to Aboriginal businesses and joint ventures since the inception of the program.

Fortescue chief executive officer Elizabeth Gaines said the iron ore miner is committed to supporting sustainable long-term opportunities for Aboriginal businesses.

“Procurement is one of the most powerful levers for social and economic change, and from experience we know that a strong Aboriginal business sector is best placed to create employment and development opportunities for their communities,” Gaines said.

“I am pleased to announce this significant contract with Warrikal, the largest to be awarded by Fortescue and also among the biggest contracts to be awarded in Australia to a majority-owned Aboriginal business.”

Warrikal is a WA-based, majority-owned Aboriginal engineering contractor that was established in 2017 to provide innovative engineering solutions across the mining, marine and resource sectors.