Fortescue Metals Group has celebrated passing its first iron ore through the ore processing facility at the Eliwana mine and rail project in Western Australia.
Fortescue chief executive officer Elizabeth Gaines, deputy chairman Mark Barnaba, Western Australian Minister for Mines and Petroleum; Energy; Industrial Relations Bill Johnston, representatives from the Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura People (PKKP) and Fortescue board and core leadership team members were present at Eliwana to revel in the significant milestone.
Johnston congratulated the company for the achievement during the celebration.
“Congratulations Fortescue and everyone involved on the completion of the Eliwana project,” he said.
“This important project created around 2000 jobs during construction and will create 500 full time site positions as the team moves into operations.
“Fortescue’s Eliwana mine will deliver a significant boost to Western Australia’s economy during the post-COVID-19 recovery phase and contribute to the state’s ongoing successful iron ore industry.”
Gaines reflected on Eliwana’s beginnings when Fortescue commenced exploration in 2006, which is now the company’s newest world-class integrated operation and an important part of its next stage of development.
“Exploration commenced in this area in 2006 and we have now delivered a new 30 million tonne per annum dry ore processing facility and infrastructure, along with 143 kilometres of rail which is in the final stages of construction,” she said.
“Fortescue has a vision to drive economic growth and contribute to thriving local communities and our investment in the Eliwana mine and rail project will continue our strong track record of delivering against this goal.
“A diverse workforce is integral to Fortescue’s success. As one of Australia’s largest employers of Aboriginal people, Fortescue continues to provide training and employment opportunities for Aboriginal people, who represent 14 per cent of the Eliwana operations workforce.
“In addition, 23 per cent of our Eliwana operations team are women, contributing to our commitment to increase gender diversity across our operations.”
Fortescue has awarded more than $150 million in contracts to Aboriginal businesses and their joint venture partners for the Eliwana project.