EQ Resources Ltd. (EQR) executed a 5-year, A$179 million ($117.8 million) mining services agreement with Golding Contractors Pty Ltd for the restart of the open pit mining operations at Mt Carbine near Cairns, Australia.

Golding is expected to move approximately 25.2 million metric tons (mt) of rock, including 16.3 million mt of waste material, 6 million mt of ore, and 2.9 million mt of low-grade stockpile material.

The contract has been split into two phases to ensure a refined understanding of the schedule of costs in regard to the unique nature of mining hard rock tungsten. This was done to help de-risk the project and ensure scope delivery without having to build significant risk pricing upside into the contract. Phase 1 is estimated at 12-18 months which will be completed on a rates and cost-plus basis, thereafter, the parties intend to transition to rise and run matrix rates, on fleet composition and material type basis.

With Golding personnel on site full-time, the ramp up toward open cut production is accelerating toward delivery and processing of first ore, EQR CEO Kevin MacNeill explained. “Equipment has started arriving, personnel appointments are underway as well as infrastructure establishment for the mining offices,” MacNeill said. Golding will incorporate some EQR equipment and personnel as the project transitions into mining the open cut.

EQR said it is transforming its tungsten assets at Mt Carbine, leveraging advanced technology, historical stockpiles and unexploited resource with the aim of being the pre-eminent tungsten producer in Australia.