Fortescue on track to maintain guidance despite coronavirus restrictions

Image: Fortescue Metals Group

Fortescue Metals Group is set to keep its guidance for mining, processing and shipping activities despite changes to exploration schedules and rosters.

The company has shifted its rosters to a four week on/two week off rotation, which will reduce travel to and from sites by about 40 per cent due to the coronavirus pandemic.

To ensure safety of those still travelling for work, Fortescue has arranged for additional charter buses and flights to maintain distances between travelling team members as well as health tests at the Perth airport and site aerodromes.

Office-based employees and those that were not critical to site operations have been relocated to work from home unless Fortescue requires their attendance.

Fortescue has also continued to focus on health and safety at its on-site villages, by changing its breakfasts, dinners and packed lunches to reduce food and utensil handling.

The iron ore giant has also suspended all Australian and international exploration in line with local travel restrictions.

Fortescue chief executive Elizabeth Gaines said that the company had taken its responsibility as an employer very seriously, and the health and safety of its employees was top priority.

“The measures we have introduced ensure that Fortescue can continue to operate safely, maintain jobs, sustain our business and protect communities,” Gaines said.

“While COVID-19 (coronavirus disease of 2019) has brought uncertainty and volatility to global markets, including the iron ore market, Fortescue’s shipments continue from Port Hedland as scheduled.

“Our mining, processing and shipping activity remains in line with our guidance for the 2020 financial year of shipments towards the upper end of our guided range of 170 to 175 million tonnes.”

Fortescue’s Eliwana and Iron Bridge magnetite projects have also continued to progress well.

The Fortescue incident management team plans to meet daily to review the company’s operations and new federal government advice regarding the coronavirus.

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