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Thiess has been awarded a four-year contract by Covalent Lithium to deliver mining services at the Mount Holland lithium mine in Western Australia.

Covalent Lithium is a joint venture between Wesfarmers and Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile, one of the world’s largest lithium miners.

Under the contract, Thiess will deliver drill and blast services, mining of overburden and ore, and equipment maintenance with a strong focus on community development and environmental protection at Mount Holland.

Thiess executive chairman and chief executive officer Michael Wright said the company is very pleased to be selected by Covalent to undertake mining at the Mount Holland mine.

“This award recognises our team’s ability to deliver sustainable mining solutions and deliver enduring value for our clients across diverse commodities,” he said.

“We look forward to working with Covalent Lithium to safely position their operations for optimal efficiency, productivity and cost performance, and contribute strongly to a clean energy future.”

The Mount Holland mine produces lithium-bearing ore that is concentrated and refined to produce lithium hydroxide, a critical mineral used to enable electric vehicles and battery-based energy storage systems.

In September 2021, Covalent signed a lease with the WA Government for a new Kwinana lithium refinery, which is expected to produce approximately 45,000 tonnes of lithium hydroxide per year, once the plant has been completed.

Global output of lithium is expected to rise by about 600,000 tonnes of lithium LCE between 2021 and 2025, compared with the 240,000 tonnes added between 2016 and 2020, according to Fitch Solutions.

Thiess commenced mobilisation and early mining operations in January.