Gina Rinehart’s $7 billion Roy Hill project has mined its first iron ore.
The first high-grade ore was mined on Wednesday, just two months after final funding for the project was approved.
"We have commenced mining of high-grade material and we are very proud of that” Roy Hill chief executive Barry Fitzgerald said at a conference in Perth.
Having already dished out more than $3 billion worth of contracts for the development of the mine, and with a 2500-strong workforce, work at the Pilbara project has been powering ahead and remains on schedule.
Fitzgerald said Roy Hill was spending $10 million-a-day to build the mine and its rail and port infrastructure, ABC reported.
Expected to add 7 per cent to Australian iron ore supply, the mine will eventually produce 55 million tonnes of iron ore a year.
Roy Hill Holdings is 70 per cent-owned by Rinehart's Hancock Prospecting. Selling off 30 per cent of the project last year, the remainder is now owned by South Korea's Posco, Japan's Marubeni and Taiwan's China Steel Corporation.
Rinehart has previously said the project is a “crucible of opportunity” during a period of global uncertainty.
“It has already shown it will create new jobs, and benefit the greater mining and construction related industries, it will add to Australia’s exports, and significantly benefit our West Australian and national economy,” she said in a statement.