Fortescue keeps focus on core iron ore business

Fortescue's Board of Directors, Andrew Forrest, Elizabeth Gaines and LEAP program participants. Image: Fortescue Metals Group

Fortescue Metals Group, in celebrating its achievements in the past 2018 financial year, has reinforced its focus on building sustainable mines of the future.

The $US1.275 billion ($1.69 billion) Eliwana iron ore mine and rail project in the Pilbara, which involves “the latest technology, autonomous trucks and design efficiency”, has been approved by the company’s board in May this year.

Fortescue’s pursuit of low-cost growth options coincides with it delivering a production target of 170 million tonnes (Mt) for the year. It achieved record shipments of 46.5Mt in the June quarter.

The company also boasts a record low net cash cost of $US12.36 ($16.99) per wet metric tonne.

Chief executive Elizabeth Gaines said, “Our results for the 2018 financial year continue to demonstrate our strong operational and cost performance across all of our sites, underpinned by our commitment and ongoing focus to become global leaders in safety.

“We are investing in the long-term sustainability of our core iron ore business, while pursuing growth and development opportunities, managing our flexible capital structure and delivering strong returns to our shareholders.”

Gaines in the company’s 15th annual general meeting was joined by Fortescue’s founder and chairman Andrew Forrest, the Board of Directors and shareholders as well as participants of Fortescue’s Leadership and Excellence in Aboriginal People (LEAP) program.

Fortescue said the program participants represent “the latest and biggest ever cohort of our LEAP program”.

Forrest said, “At Fortescue, it is about giving a hand up, not a hand out, and programs like LEAP provide our Aboriginal work mates with the chance to grow in confidence and become role models both at work and within their own communities.

“Fortescue’s growth will be built on our reputational capital, underpinned by our people and our deep relationships within the communities in which we work.”

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