Mining contractor Barminco continues to drive growth in its domestic market with the award of a three year, A$60million underground mining services contract for Western Areas’ Spotted Quoll nickel mine located 5 km from the Flying Fox underground complex and 80 km east of Hyden in Western Australia. Western Areas NL announced the decision to mine the Spotted Quoll underground mine in December 2010. The estimated mine life for Stage One of the underground mine is eight years.Barminco CEO Neil Warburton said decline development was scheduled to start mid April, with first ore production expected in February 2012. The three year Spotted Quoll contract (with two one year extension options) encompasses all underground mine operating activities including development and production, and complements Barminco’s existing contract with Western Areas at the Flying Fox mine.“We are very pleased to be extending our relationship with Western Areas and look forward to cooperating in realising operating synergies across both sites and delivering industry best safety and productivity performance,” Mr Warburton said. “Barminco is a leader in the underground mining services industry and we have a genuine commitment to delivering the highest standards to this project, and indeed across all projects. Winning the Spotted Quoll contract with such a high calibre client supports our commitment to maintaining a high performing domestic business which underpins our growth both domestically and internationally.”Barminco has also boosted the capabilities of its African subsidiary African Underground Mining Services (AUMS). It took delivery of two Atlas Copco MT6020 trucks for its work at Kinross Gold’s Akwaaba Deeps gold mine in Ghana. The two 60 t load trucks are predicted to increase the contractor’s haulage capacity by close to 20% over the existing fleet.