Iron ore and Coal

Fortescue reaches comparable shipment record

Fortescue reaches comparable shipment record
Mining News Pro - Fortescue Metals Group has matched last year’s March quarter for record iron ore shipments as it capitalised on strengthening prices for the commodity.

The company shipped 42.3 million tonnes of iron ore in the 2021 March quarter, a 2 per cent increase on the prior corresponding period.

This has pushed Fortescue to a record shipment total for the first nine months of the financial year.

Fortescue chief executive Elizabeth Gaines attributed the continued success to the Eliwana mine in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

“The commissioning of the Eliwana mine has contributed to an increase in both ore mined and processed during the quarter, despite the impact of significant rainfall across our operations in the Pilbara,” Gaines said.

The Eliwana mine was commissioned in December 2020 and handed over to the operations team the following month.

The significant rainfall event involved Cyclone Seroja, which met the Western Australian coast with winds up to 170 kilometres an hour.

Subsequently, the Kimberley, Pilbara, Gascoyne and Goldfields regions all received showers and thunderstorms in mid-April.

Fortescue aims to ship 178-182 million tonnes in the 2021 financial year.

Technical and commercial assessment of the upcoming Iron Bridge magnetite project in Western Australia also commenced during the March quarter ahead of expected completion in May.

It is targeted to produce 22 million tonnes a year of a 67 per cent iron content.

Fortescue also awarded RCR Mining Technologies with a $27.2 million contract for the design and construction of a crushing plant at the Cloudbreak iron ore mine in the Pilbara.

The contract for the NRW subsidiary follows the delivery of a 3500 tonne per hour hopper nine crushing facility, which was completed in early 2020.

Fortescue also used the March quarter to continue meeting a growing demand for cleaner, more sustainable mining practices as it planned to achieve a carbon neutral status by 2030 – 10 years earlier than previously forecast.

“Significantly, Fortescue announced during the quarter a target to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030, positioning us as a global leader in the battle against climate change,” Gaines said.

“We have set out clear priorities for our pathway to decarbonisation, including the establishment of a green mining fleet through the development and assessment of hydrogen and battery electric solutions.”

Fortescue’s efforts to decarbonise during the March quarter included plans to build a second hydrogen plant in Brazil, as well as an agreement with Williams Advanced Engineering to develop an electric mining haul truck.

“Fortescue Future industries continues to assess a range of renewable energy and green hydrogen opportunities and is advancing projects internationally and across Australia,” Gaines said.

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