Perenti subsidiary and hard-rock underground miner Barminco has secured a development and production contract for nickel producer Western Areas’ Odysseus mine in Western Australia (WA).

The Odysseus mine is situated on a mining lease that forms part of the high-grade Cosmos nickel operation, which lies 30km north of Leinster in WA.

Valued at A$200m ($145m), the contract will be in place for five years as Western Areas aims to establish its third nickel mine at Odysseus.

The latest contract extends Barminco and Western Areas’ 15-year relationship.

Barminco CEO Paul Muller said: “We are excited to continue our relationship with the Western Areas team, which began in 2005 at Forrestania, and has now grown to include the Cosmos Nickel Operation. Odysseus is a significant project to bring on-stream, and the five-year term demonstrates the trust and confidence Western Areas has in Barminco to continuously improve and deliver for them”.

First nickel concentrate from Odysseus is expected to be delivered in the second quarter of the 2023 fiscal year (FY).

In October 2015, Western Areas acquired the Cosmos nickel operations. The company began redevelopment of the Odysseus mine in January last year.

Perenti managing director and CEOMark Norwell said: “It is fantastic that Barminco and Western Areas have extended their 15-year relationship to at least 20 years. We are very appreciative of the opportunity and we look forward to delivering value and certainty for Western Areas at their new development.”

In March this year, Barminco received a letter of intent (LoI) from Barrick Gold to provide underground contract mining services for Hemlo gold mine in Canada.

In January, Western Areas secured new contracts to supply high-grade concentrate from its Forrestania operations to BHP unit Nickel West and China’s nickel matte and cathode producer Jinchuan.