• CMEWA introduces new guidelines for FIFO camps around limitig alcohol consumption
  • Comes in the wake of reports and parliamentary inquiry on sexual assaults and harassment at mine sites
  • Sayona drops hard despite release of lithium PFS


For a long time FIFO (fly in, fly out) life had an unhealthy association with blokiness, alienation and heavy drinking.

But a reforming resources industry has been working to revive its reputation after a scandal around the underreporting of sexual assaults and harassment of women in remote Pilbara mining camps was brought to light last year.

Sparking a parliamentary inquiry which drew responses and evidence from all of the major iron ore miners, contractors and WA-based oil and gas firms, the industry has been forced to take steps to rectify its approach to sexual assaults and place it on the same footing as a priority as workplace safety within the mine itself.

Issues were further brought to light in a report commissioned by Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) this year and delivered by former Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick that revealed sexual harassment, racism and bullying were rife in its mine sites and professional workplaces.

Some miners moved to introduce drinking limits in FIFO camps last year.

Now the Chamber of Minerals and Energy WA has announced the introduction of industry-wide guidelines for the sector’s more than 150,000 workers, including a four drink limit over a 24 hour period for all residents in miners’ accomodation.

Shots and double servings would be out as well under the policy, while workplaces would have to ensure the provision of non-alcoholic options, promote a culture of moderation and healthy dietary choices and provide low and medium strength options.

CMEWA director of policy and advocacy Rob Carruthers said the guidelines would take time to be implemented across the industry as a whole, but acknowledged they had come in part in response to the WA parliamentary inquiry into sexual harassment against women on WA mines.

“Some CME member companies have already led the way by adopting the elements of the guideline, and those that can practically implement it immediately will do so of course,” Carruthers said.

“CME has more than 75 member operating companies running operations of all shapes and sizes around WA and some of them may not be in a logistical position to practically implement the guideline straight away.

“We’re also very happy for the guideline to be available for operations that don’t fall under the CME banner.

“The ultimate aim for the guideline is that it helps WA mining and resources achieve positive safety and inclusion objectives, and we will happily share it and the research behind it with other advocacy groups in the sector.”


Sayona slides on PFS release

Sayona Mining’s (ASX:SYA) darling run as one of the market’s fastest rising lithium stocks has come to a screeching halt as the release of a PFS on its recently acquired North American Lithium operations in Quebec Canada saw a big sell-off from investors.

$1.7 billion capped Sayona is up an incredible 487% over the past 12 months as the former penny stock has aggressively expanded its lithium resource base through drilling and acquisitions at the same time as lithium prices have hit record levels.

But it suffered a 17% hit after the release this afternoon of the PFS on its NAL operation, putting a $102 million price tag on the restart of the mine it secured from administrators last year.

Sayona says long lead equipment has already been secured to facilitate the restart of mining in the first quarter of next year, intended to be a hub for hard rock lithium production in the Abitibi region where the company also owns the Authier lithium project.

According to the PFS NAL will produce ~163,000t of spodumene a year over a 27 year operating life at cash costs of US$590/t, with a $1.07 billion pre tax NPV ($844m after tax) and 140% IRR (139% after tax).

Sayona MD Brett Lynch said the company, which plans to become North America’s first local producer of spodumene, is also looking at a potential lithium conversion facility, with options to move downstream including completing the existing carbonate plant at NAL.

“Sayona’s acquisition of NAL and turnaround plan was not based simply on restarting the existing operation. Rather, it was based on our strategy of creating an Abitibi lithium hub, drawing upon the operation of our nearby Authier project and investing in plant upgrades to deliver improved profitability and performance,” he said.

“We have been modest with our pricing assumptions, but as the sensitivity analysis indicates, there is potential for significant upside in the NPV projection given recent trends in spodumene prices.

“Accordingly, the project partners have already pre‐ordered long lead equipment items in anticipation of a positive study result, ensuring we are ready for start‐up in Q1 2023.”

Sayona Mining share price today: