Fortescue begins 2022 with wind in its sails

Fortescue

The Iron Bridge operation. Image: Fortescue Metals Group

Fortescue Metals Group has set records for second quarter and first half ore shipments, while achieving several milestones at the Iron Bridge magnetite project in Western Australia.

The company shipped 47.5 million tonnes of ore in the December quarter of 2021, bringing shipments for the first half of the 2022 financial year to 93.1 million tonnes.

This was the highest second quarter shipments Fortescue has ever achieved, and its highest shipments ever achieved over a half year period.

Fortescue chief executive officer Elizabeth Gaines said the company did well to achieve these records while managing the rising costs of resources including diesel and labour.

“Our C1 cost was in line with the previous quarter, reflecting our strong focus on cost management to mitigate inflationary pressures associated with strong demand for labour and resources, as well as supply chain constraints due to COVID-19,” Gaines said.

“We are proud of the entire Fortescue family who continue to deliver record operating performance and achieve key project milestones.”

The company’s cost of production was $US15.31 per wet metric tonne for the December quarter.

At Iron Bridge, first production is scheduled for December 2022 and several key modules were delivered in the December quarter on the way to completion.

These included completion of the module offload facility at Lumsden Point, with five ships unloaded at time of writing.

At Iron Bridge, a construction of a concentrate pipeline, return water pipeline and Canning Basin raw water pipeline began.

Structural mechanical piping and electrical and instrumentation contractors were mobilised to the ore processing facility, while pre-strip mining also began in the December quarter.

Earlier this week, the company made headlines for its acquisition of Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE) to support its targets for decarbonisation by developing critical technology such as battery and electrification systems.

Gaines said it was hoped the deal would allow Fortescue to share its discoveries with the world.

“We will utilise this capability in the carbonisation of our own operations and in turn the global heavy industry sector, further demonstrating our commitment to green energy and the creation of a sustainable future,” she said.

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