Independence Group NL (ASX: IGO) is a leading ASX-listed exploration and mining company with a strategic focus on high quality assets of scale and longevity, and an evolving strategy to align the business to the structural shift to energy storage. IGO’s Nova Operation is located in the Fraser Range, approximately 160km east-northeast of Norseman, 360km southeast of Kalgoorlie and 380km from the Port of Esperance in Western Australia.



Primero have been retained by Independence Group’s Nova operation since 2017 rendering various Sustaining Capital, Shutdown and Plant Maintenance projects.

Heavy Vehicle Washbay

Primero were engaged to provide a turnkey design and construction solution to upgrade Nova’s existing non-functional Washbay. IGO were struggling with environmental non-compliance and heightened plant maintenance costs due to the extremely poor water quality in their underground mine. Care was requested to ensure minimal disruption to existing Washbay services as possible.

Highlights of the scope of work include:

  • Bulk earthworks to correct falls in the immediate area around the Washbay;
  • Decommissioning and removal of all existing mechanical systems including excavation of existing in-ground Puraceptor;
  • Concrete extensions to HV and LV Bays including Trench Spray extension;
  • New Mechanical concrete pad to house Recycled Water and Oil Tanks, Pumps and Oily Water Treatment System;
  • Install of LV Drive-over Ramps with cladded spray walls;
  • Install of 6 automated water cannons, high flow hose reels and pressure washer reel/lances to HV Wash Bay;
  • Install of high flow hose reels and pressure washer reel lances to LV Wash Bay;
  • Install of an automated trench wash spray system with dedicated pump;
  • Install of an Ultrapspin HD125 Oily Water Treatment System;
  • Install of UV Water Treatment Systems;
  • Upgrade of existing standpipe system including dedicated new pump;
  • Install of new multistage Washdown water pump system to feed hose reels and Barminco Workshop;
  • Install of a new sediment pit and pneumatic pump system at the Barminco Workshop;
  • Install of two new slurry pumps and trench systems at the site refuelling bay and associated discharge pipework back to the Washbay sediment pit; and
  • All associated electrical install including new MCC module, DB, control panels, cabling and revised area lighting.

Underground Refuelling Infrastructure

A design and construction solution was requested by IGO Nova for a fully DMP and Australian Standard compliant underground fuel bay. This was the first underground project completed by Primero received exceptional feedback from site personnel that the facility was the most fit-for-purpose, well set out and well-constructed underground fuel bay that many of them had seen. Mining delays impacting production were now mitigated as boggers and jumbos no longer needed to return to the surface for refuelling.

Highlights of the scope of work include:

  • 200 thick steel fibre slab;
  • Drive-in sump to capture hydrocarbon spills;
  • Fire Suppression System & Fire Extinguishers;
  • Fire Suppression System & Fire Extinguishers;
  • Auto Closing Fire Resistant vent door;
  • SatSTAT Fuel Dispensing Unit;
  • Install of Engine & Hydraulic Oil Tanks;
  • Install of Adblue Fuel Additive Tank;
  • Install of Removable Grease Pod Unit;
  • Install of Deluge Safety Shower;
  • Install of Hand Wash Station, Hose Down reels and Fire Hose Reel; and
  • Electrical Install of Fuel Bay DB, CP’s and lighting.

Contractors Workshop

A cost-effective design and construct solution was requested by IGO Nova to house their ROM contractor Cross Verwijmeren. The workshop requirements were to be suitable for servicing CAT excavators, loaders and remaining fleet being operated over a constant 24hr roster.

Highlights of the scope of work include:

  • Steel fibre slab with non-slip surface treatment;
  • Drive-in catchment sump alongside slab to catch runoff from washing down slab;
  • Self-contained administration / crib room office connected to site comms;
  • Containerised Dome Shelter – 20m wide by 8.1m high;
  • Potable Water & Plant Air Supply within workshop; and
  • Suitable lighting for 24hour servicing requirements.

MAK Reverse Osmosis Plant

IGO requested a site team to construct a new 1MEG Reverse Osmosis Plant over a duration of 2 weeks. The plant consisted of two 0.5M units, a bank of lamella clarifiers and full chemical dosing systems. Existing RO plants were causing significant plant downtime due to lack of front-end water treatment and age.

Highlights of the scope of work include:

  • Install of new MAK RO units, tanks, pumps and clarifiers
  • Install of all interconnecting pipework between equipment
  • Install of electrical DB’s, cabling and instrumentation

I just wanted to commend and thank the Primero work group that were at Nova over the last two weeks for their hard work and dedication to constructing the 750kL/day MAK Water Treatment Plant; the two photos below show the extent of the works in such a short timeframe. In two weeks the crew landed all the equipment (2 x 40ft SWRO containers, 4 x Multimedia Filters, Flocculant Dosing Skid, Oxidation Skid, 3 individual pump skids and 5 x 50kL Tanks), connected all pipework (buried or run in overhead pipe-trace where possible), installed the distribution board, ran all cables, and terminated all power and controls into the cabinets.

As impressive as all this is, more so is that they executed close to 2,000-man hours without an incident. Their commitment to safety was noted.