Fortescue Metals Group posted a record-breaking August with the export of more than 15 million tonnes of iron ore.
This amount beat the company’s previous record in June by more than 1.75 mt, and saw another record set, with 82 ships loaded.
FMG officially opened its 40 mtpa Kings Valley iron ore mine in March, and this has helped the company reach its total production capacity ramp -up of 155 mtpa.
At the time, CEO Nev Power said the operation was a new source of low cost production for FMG with its low strip ratio playing an important role in reducing company costs.
“Since completing our ramp up to 155 million tonnes earlier this year, Fortescue has concentrated on improving safety, reducing costs and operating more efficiently and this monthly result is evidence of our progress,” Power said yesterday.
FMG ships its ore out of Port Hedland, which also posted a record-breaking August, shipping 37.38 mt to month’s end.
This is a huge 10 mt increase from August 2013 when the port shipped 27.4 mt and reflects the massive ramp up by BHP Billiton who also uses the export terminal.
This ramp up of iron ore production by BHP, FMG and Rip Tinto has been blamed for the falling price of the steel-making commodity, which has lost 35 per cent this year.
Analysts have warned for miners to expect the price to drop even further to $US75 a tonne by September 2015 as oversupply and sluggish Chinese demand take its toll.
“For the first time in over a decade, the need to eliminate iron ore supply, rather than incentivize it, is determining prices,” Singapore-based CLSA said this week.