Fortescue sets production costs record

The Solomon stockyard. Image: Fortescue Metals Group

Fortescue Metals Group has delivered another cash production costs record in the September quarter at its iron ore operations in the Pilbara.

The WA-based miner shipped 44 million tonnes (Mt) of iron ore during the three-month period, a 2 per cent drop on the previous quarter.

Fortescue said it was on track to meet its production guidance for fiscal 2018 following the September quarter performance.

Its cash production costs were lowered to a record $US12.15 per wet metric tonne, a slight improvement on the previous three months and 10 per cent lower than the September 2016 quarter.

Fortescue chief executive Nev Power said the company’s production costs momentum had continued in the latest quarter.

He explained that at a constant Australian dollar exchange rate of $US0.75, Fortescue’s costs would have been even lower at $US11.65 a tonne.

“Our teams’ focus on safety, together with sustained productivity and efficiency initiatives has successfully offset the impact of exchange rates and increasing strip ratios,” Power said.

“The rollout of autonomous haulage to the Chichesters and the introduction of the innovative relocatable conveyor system will deliver further improvements from the second half of financial year 2018 and into the future.”

Fortescue announced earlier this year that it would deploy more autonomous haulage technology (AHS) at its iron ore operations.

The expansion includes retrofitting around 100 Cat 793F and 789D and Komatsu 930E truck models at the Chichester Hub, as well as an expansion of the Cat 793F autonomous truck fleet at the Solomon Hub operations.

To keep up to date with Australian Mining, subscribe to our free email newsletters delivered straight to your inbox. Click here.