A new contract at WA’s biggest gold project is creating local jobs in one of the state’s most remote and least populated regions.

Downer EDI is about to start onsite activities at the Gruyere project after winning a $400 million mining services contract from joint owners Gold Fields and Gold Road Resources.

The five-year deal will generate a peak workforce of about 170, with Downer slated to soon begin construction of infrastructure, such as workshops and office buildings.

It will be a major boon for the remote towns and communities scattered around Gruyere, which is 200km east of Laverton in the Great Victoria Desert.

It takes about 13 hours to drive from Perth to Cosmo Newberry – a small Aboriginal community close to Gruyere that is 1036 km east of Perth.

“Both Downer and the Gruyere JV are committed to the engagement of local employees and contractors, with a focus on those communities closest to the mine, including Cosmo Newberry and Laverton, as well as Kalgoorlie, Wiluna and Warburton,” Gruyere JV general manager of operations Steve Price says. 

“Downer will run the process for the engagement of subcontractors, and I would suggest that interested local contractors contact Downer directly.”

Last year, Gold Fields Executive Vice President Australasia Stuart Mathews said the company was in tune with the State Labor Government’s job focus, pointing out that the mine will add 350 permanent jobs once operations start early next year.

“Gruyere is about growth in a region which has got nothing – it’s going to provide some long-term opportunities for 20 years,” he said.

In the meantime, jobs are flowing from major process plant construction which kicked off in August after the Amec Foster Wheeler Civmec (ACJV) joint venture won a $298m engineering, procurement and construction contract.

At a recent WA Works Sundowner, Civmec CEO Pat Tallon listed numerous engineering sub-contracts up for grabs, such as shop detailing, fire services, equipment services, hazardous area assessments and geotech analysis.

General business opportunities include processing, handrail and grating supply, machining, surveying, liner and skirts supply, and painting and galvanising.

Tallon also outlined many other business opportunities, ranging from plant and equipment hire and transport, to logistics and concrete pumping.

“I really do urge people to come forward,” he said. “All too often you get onto a site and don’t hear about contractors until the end of the job.”

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