Fortescue Metals Group has brought forward a planned shutdown at one of its Western Australia operations, reducing calendar 2008 output by two million tonnes, or 10%, however, chief executive Andrew Forrest said the group was still in a strong financial position despite the early shutdown.
“We have had a number of mills argue that their position is perhaps stronger than others and that they are looking for an increase in their share of Fortescue’s production,” Forrest said.
“One mill, which has currently less than a 5% share, is now seeking a 10% share.
“We just don’t have space in our shipping register to accommodate that, but of course in this market we will do everything we can.”
Forrest, who is currently in China meeting customers, said the company has also temporarily deferred plans to expand its WA operations to 80 million tonnes per annum.
Forrest said future mine expansions were not time sensitive could be picked up any time next year and could be funded through internal cashflow, quashing rumours he was in China pursuing a potential capital raising.