Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) has announced that its Billion Opportunities program, commenced in 2011 to promote sustainable business for Aboriginal communities, has passed $2 billion in funding.
This significant milestone represents over 250 contracts and subcontracts split between 110 Aboriginal businesses.
In July last year, Aboriginal businesses made a deal with FMG for work at the latter’s iron ore projects in the Pilbara for around $100 million, bringing the Billion Opportunities to the total of $1.95 billion.
Over half of the $2 billion has been made in the last three years since the implementation of the Commonwealth Indigenous Procurement Policy in 2015, designed as a boost for Indigenous business development.
Outgoing chief executive officer of Fortescue Nev Power said that the Billion Opportunities program allowed traditional custodians and Aboriginal business a chance to build sustainable futures through genuine economic opportunity.
“Through the program, we have encouraged and assisted the development of capability and capacity of Aboriginal businesses to supply a significant portion of the goods and services we need in our business,” he said.
In addition, Power’s replacement, chief officer elect Elizabeth Gaines, added that FMG was “proud to be working with our traditional custodian and Native Title groups in the Pilbara as they work for a better future for their communities by embracing training, jobs and business opportunities.”