A mining and construction contractor in Western Australia has teamed up with a multi-national Spanish firm to win a $1.47 billion contract to build a key part of Gina Rinehart’s latest mine in the Pilbara region – its biggest ever contract on what will be one of Australia’s largest mines.

Perth-based Forge Group announced earlier this week that it has entered into a joint venture with Spanish contractor Duro Felguera to secure an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract from Samsung C&T to build the processing facility at the Roy Hill Iron Ore project near Newman in Western Australia.

Under the contract – full works of which remain subject to Roy Hill making satisfactory process with financing arrangements – the joint venture partners will build a 55-megaton per annum iron ore processing plant. The scope of the team’s works will include all detailed structural earthworks, foundations, steelwork, mechanical equipment, plate-work, piping, electrical equipment, instrumentation and controls, cabling, conveyors and in-plant roads.

The works are part of a broader $5.59 billion development awarded to Samsung C&T (part of South Korea’s Samsung Group) earlier this year, which include development of the mine as well as a 344-kilometre railway to Port Hedland and port infrastructure.

With estimated reserves of more than 2.4 billion tonnes, Roy Hill, which is 70 per cent owned by Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting, will become one of the largest resource projects in Australia after first shipments go out at in late 2015.

Set to begin in December, work on the processing facility is expected to take around 20 months and require a peak construction workforce of around 1,300.

Forge managing director David Simpson says the contract is a significant victory for the company, and that its joint venture partner has experience executing major resource projects across several continents.

“Roy Hill is Forge Group’s largest single contract to date, and is a clear indication of our growing reputation as an EPC contractor with the capacity and capability to undertake projects of world-class scale,” Simpson says.

Forge, which earlier this year acquired US based material handling and coal preparation outfit Taggart Global, now has a record $2.1 billion in forward orders.

Recent project wins include a $70 million ammonium nitrate facility at the TAN Burrup project in Karratha near Western Australia and a $290 million contract to design and build a zinc-lead-silver concentrator with associated plant facilities at MMG’s Dugald River Project site in Queensland.