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Cosmos open-pit. Image: Western Areas

GR Engineering has won an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract with a Western Areas subsidiary at its Cosmos nickel operations in Western Australia.

Australian Nickel Investments will pay $48 million to GR for the upgrade of the existing nickel concentrator at the 900,000 tonne per annum operation.

The contract will begin immediately at the site 30 kilometres north of Leinster in the state’s northern goldfields.

GR Engineering managing director Geoff Jones said this contract built on a strong relationship between the two companies.

“GR Engineering has a long history of working with the Western Areas management team and have a strong track record of delivering projects for Western Areas on time and on budget,” Jones said.

“GR Engineering is excited to work with Western Areas on another important project and we are looking forward to delivering safe and successful outcomes for the project.”

The Cosmos nickel operation includes Western Areas’ Odysseus project which produced first ore in early October.

The ore will be stockpiled as the concentrator is upgraded by GR before the December quarter of 2022.

On Odysseus’ first production, Western Areas managing director Dan Lougher said these developments would position the company as a reliable producer of high-quality nickel.

“It is an exciting milestone to reach first ore and we now look forward to continuing ore production and construction activities, while also advancing offtake tenders for new nickel sulphide supply into the class-one nickel market,” Lougher said.

From 2000 to 2012, Cosmos produced over 127,000 tonnes of nickel in concentrate at an average grade of 4.8 per cent nickel.

Cosmos encompasses several high-quality deposits such as Mt Keith, Cliffs, Perseverance, Rocky’s Reward, Honeymoon Well, Venus and Yakabindie.