Ausenco Limited (ASX: AAX) and its strategic alliance partner, Spanish multinational Duro FelgueranS.A. (DF) (BMAD: MDF), have executed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to deliver Royal Nickel Corporation’s (TSX: RNC) Dumont Nickel Project in Québec, Canada on an Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) basis.

Based on defined technical and commercial parameters, including a not to exceed price of CAD911 million, Royal Nickel has awarded the 50/50 DF-Ausenco alliance the EPC contract expected to commence works in late 2015. During 2015, DF-Ausenco will be working on an open-book basis to finalise scope of works, cost, schedule and EPC terms and conditions consistent with the MOU.

Ausenco CEO Zimi Meka said the company had been working on Dumont for the last three years and had a great relationship with RNC and a very strong understanding of the project.

“We are confident the alliance will progress to the next stage given the quality nature of the project and the combined strength of the DF-Ausenco offering and expertise,” he said.

Ausenco and DF signed an agreement to form a strategic alliance to jointly pursue and deliver EPC projects globally in early July 2015.

“This contract award reinforces the combined strength of the DF-Ausenco offering and the strategic importance of the newly formed alliance,” he said.

The Dumont Nickel Project is a significant deposit near the town of Amos, in the established Abitibi mining camp within the Canadian province of Québec. The proposed mine is expected to be a largescale, open pit operation that will produce nickel for more than 30 years.

The Dumont Nickel Project is one of only very few shovel-ready nickel projects globally and, when in production, is expected to be the fifth largest nickel-sulphide mine in the world.