Barminco has won a A$240m ($169.95m) contract extension to continue to provide underground mining services at Independence Group’s (IGO) Nova nickel-copper-cobalt operation in the Fraser Range of Western Australia.

With the extension, Barminco will continue to deliver development and production mining services at the mine for an additional term of four years.

The contract, which includes an option for a two-year extension, strengthens the relationship between the two companies.

Furthermore, Barminco and IGO will also set up a technology development committee to collaborate on executing technologies that will advance safety and productivity in underground mining.

Since the commencement of development at the Nova project in 2015, Barminco delivered 29km of development and extracted 2.4 million tonnes of ore.

Barminco CEO Paul Muller said: “We are proud to say that Barminco has been at Nova from the outset and it is very pleasing that we can continue our close association with the IGO through this long-term extension at Nova.

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“Barminco has supported the Nova project’s transition from development, starting with excavation of the box-cut on Australia Day 2015, to production, delivering a successful first year of commercial production in the 2018 financial year.”

“It is very pleasing that we can continue our close association with the IGO through this long-term extension at Nova.”

“We now look forward to working closely with IGO under a formal arrangement to drive further productivity and safety improvements at Nova. This includes establishment of a technology committee which will initially target projects such as the early stage development of electric vehicles, enhanced mine control systems, machine vision and proximity detection.”

IGO managing director and CEO Peter Bradford stated that the parties will now focus on incremental operational and productivity improvements related to stope mining activities.

The contract extension comes days after Barminco secured contract extensions worth $238.5m at Gold Fields’ Agnew mine in Western Australia.