Fortescue aims to diversify beyond iron ore

FMG's Christmas Creek processing facility. Image credit: Fortescue Metals Group

Iron ore miner Fortescue Metals Group hopes to diversify into new commodities to leverage the skills the company has developed at its Pilbara operations in Western Australia.

Fortescue chief executive officer Nev Power, speaking at the International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC) in Melbourne today, said the company was reviewing several non iron ore prospects in Australia and internationally.

He mentioned the company was already looking at projects in Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales and in Ecuador, South America.

Power said the company was exploring ways it could use the skills it has developed in the Pilbara at these prospects as well.

“The skills we have developed at Fortescue are not unique to the Pilbara and they are not unique to iron ore,” Power said.

“Our challenge is how do we leverage off those skills and use those in other areas to diversify and grow the company, but based on value – not for diversification sake, not for growth sake.

“We have seen too many of our people in our industry get themselves into trouble by being driven by being big, or being driven by being diversified, and it has ended in tears.

“We are looking for opportunities where we can create value by leveraging the skills we have developed through iron ore in the Pilbara.”

Power, who announced last month that he would step down as Fortescue CEO in February next year, indicated the company would remain open to expanding its portfolio if it identified opportunities that align with its values.

“We see anywhere where we can secure a large tenement package with a good, solid government in place that there’s an opportunity for us to bring the same community engagement and to develop the assets and infrastructure as we have done in the Pilbara, and bring enormous value to those communities and those countries,” Power explained.

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