One of Western Australia’s largest indigenous contractors and a major privately-owned engineering firm have established a joint venture targeting work with tier-1 miners.
One of Western Australia’s largest indigenous contractors and a major privately-owned engineering firm have established a joint venture targeting work with tier-1 miners.
Daniel Tucker’s Carey Group will own 51 per cent of First Nation Engineering, which is certified by Supply Nation as an Aboriginal business.
The balance is owned by CPC Engineering, which has about 300 staff.
The joint venture is looking to bring together Carey’s earthworks and civil contracting experience with CPC’s provision of engineering design, construction and maintenance services.
It was established in response to tier-1 mining companies approaching Carey to provide SMP (structural, mechanical and piping) and E&I (electrical and instrumentation) services.
The joint venture also reflects the long-standing business and personal relationships between Mr Tucker and CPC’s chief executive Glen Weir non-executive director Ian Fletcher.
Mr Weir and Mr Tucker met 40 years ago, when they worked together on Western Mining Corporation’s Mt Windarra nickel project in the northern Goldfields near Laverton.
They crossed paths again about 10 years ago following the appointment of Mr Fletcher to the CPC board.
Mr Fletcher had developed a friendship with Mr Tucker in the early 2000s when he was chief executive of the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder.
Carey Group was established by Mr Tucker in 1995 and is widely regarded as the largest and most successful 100 per cent Aboriginal-owned business in Australia.
It provides a range of mining, civil contracting and training services.
CPC has an even longer history, commencing in 1970 with a small fabrication workshop in Kambalda.
It has expanded substantially since Mr Weir joined the business in 2003 and currently has seven workshops around the state and 300 people on its payroll.
CPC has worked for many of WA’s largest mining companies including IGO, Fortescue Metals Group and Talison Lithium, while also undertaking major international projects for First Quantum Minerals.
Carey and CPC Engineering have collaborated on several projects over the years, most recently the demolition of a shiploader and conveyor at the port of Esperance.
“We see First Nation Engineering as an opportunity to build something quite significant,” Mr Weir said.
“There are a number of Indigenous companies providing engineering services in the resource, energy, infrastructure and agriculture sectors but none can boast more than 75 years of experience and the range of services that FNE can provide across mining, engineering design, construction and maintenance.
“FNE will provide access to the combined services, experience and skills of CPC and Carey in the one company that does not exist anywhere else.”
Mr Tucker said First Nation Engineering combined the strengths of both companies.
“The core focus of FNE is to deliver exceptional services to our partners while embracing the Aboriginal supply chain and driving powerful social and economic outcomes relating to Indigenous education, health, culture and community safety,” Mr Tucker said.
“My vision has always been to create sustainable business opportunities to share the wealth of the land with Aboriginal people, elevating Aboriginal businesses and creating further opportunities for Aboriginal people in mining.
“Clients of FNE can drive social value and deliver measurable ESG outcomes and support various foundations in Indigenous education, health, culture and community safety.
“Employees will work with equality in an environment that is culturally inclusive and respectful and are offered career development pathways to achieve their full potential.”