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Cobham Regional Services has been awarded a seven-year contract with Glencore subsidiary Minara Resources to provide fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) services to its Murrin Murrin site in the eastern Goldfields region of Western Australia.

Minara Resources is Australia’s largest cobalt producer and a major producer of nickel, as well as a foundation FIFO client of Cobham.

Cobham Regional Services managing director Claude Alviani said his company had been providing FIFO services to Murrin Murrin since the mine commenced operations in 1996.

“We are absolutely delighted to continue the relationship we have with Minara as their aviation partner of choice,” Alviani said.

“The operators of Murrin Murrin were pioneers of FIFO in Western Australia, using an airbridge to connect workers to site well before it became common practice.”

“Over the past six months Minara has transitioned to our modern, lower carbon-emission aircraft with the E190 and Q400 now servicing the site.”

Minara Resources general manager Brett Fowler said he was pleased to continue his company’s relationship with Cobham as a long-term partner of the Murrin Murrin operations.

“We welcome the addition of the lower carbon emission aircraft to Murrin Murrin as we continue to produce the nickel and cobalt that are critical commodities for the transition to a low-carbon economy,” Fowler said.

The new contract comes at a pivotal time for the industry in Western Australia as the State prepares to open its borders.

Cobham business development director Tim Pirga said Cobham was well positioned for transitioning to the next phase of living with COVID.

“We have a private terminal which allows us to offer bespoke solutions for COVID screening, health checks and passenger separation,” Pirga said.

“Minara will take advantage of our facility and of our experiences operating in other states where borders have been open for some time.”