Fortescue selects Downer for $450m Eliwana contract

Image: Fortescue Metals Group

Fortescue Metals Group has again contracted Downer to complete works at the Eliwana iron ore project in Western Australia, this time for early mining and maintenance services.

It will be Downer’s second Eliwana project package, having been awarded a contract for the bulk earthworks in late 2019.

Under the early mining and maintenance services contract, Downer will complete early works operations over two years while the mine site is established.

After this initial two-year term, Fortescue will transition Eliwana’s operations to its autonomous mining fleets while Downer will remain on-site to provide maintenance services for a further three years.

“Downer has a long-standing relationship with Fortescue and we are very pleased to be expanding our services,” Downer chief executive officer Grant Fenn said.

“We are proud to be supporting the development of the Western Hub and the communities that will benefit from the mine.”

The five-year early mining and maintenance services contract is valued at approximately $450 million.

The Eliwana mine and rail project will include a 30 million tonne per annum dry ore processing facility and 143 kilometres of rail connecting it to the Herb Elliott Port at Port Hedland.

It will be along the same rail route as Fortescue’s existing iron ore operations Solomon Hub and the Iron Bridge project, which is also under development.

The $US1.27 billion ($1.91 billion) Eliwana project will introduce a 60.1 per cent iron grade product and maintain Fortescue’s status as a low-cost iron ore producer.

This will provide the company with greater flexibility to capitalise on market dynamics while maintaining a minimum overall production rate of 170 million tonnes per annum over two decades.

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