BHP Billiton has sent one billion tonnes of iron ore to China over 42 years.
The company celebrated the milestone late last year, with CEO Andrew Mackenzie saying it was a proud moment for the company.
BHP sent its first shipment of iron ore to China from Port Hedland in 1973.
It took the company nearly 30 years to ship 100 million tonnes of iron ore, and then only 12 years to reach the one billion tonne milestone- highlighting the massive expansion the company’s Pilbara operations undertook.
“Over the past decade, we have invested US$25 billion in our Western Australian mines, rail and port infrastructure to deliver the high-quality iron ore needed by our steel-making customers in China,” BHP’s iron ore president Jimmy Wilson said.
“We are grateful for our long-term and mutually beneficial partnership with China. Our iron ore has played a part in the country’s development, and in turn China’s rapid growth has transformed the Pilbara iron ore mining industry to the benefit of Australia.”
BHP plans to grow its iron ore capacity even further, targeting production of 290 million tonnes a year by 2017.