Fortescue ships one billionth tonne of iron ore

Fortescue's Herb Elliott Port. Image: Fortescue Metals Group

Fortescue Metals Group has exported its one billionth tonne of iron ore from the Pilbara in Western Australia, a decade after the company’s first commercial shipment from Port Hedland.

Ten years after Fortescue first exported its ore to Shanghai Baosteel’s Majishan Port, the billionth tonne will arrive in China aboard Fortescue’s ore carrier FMG Sophia.

Fortescue founder and chairman Andrew Forrest said the company achieved what many people thought was impossible: to build a company from a start-up to a global leader in the mining industry without losing its heritage, identity and family culture.

“A decade ago, when we shipped our first 180,000t of ore to China, I said it was a phenomenal achievement of sheer hard work, of guts and grind over scepticism, of character over doubt. The same can be said today as we reach one billion tonnes of ore shipped,” Forrest said.

Fortescue chief executive Elizabeth Gaines pointed out the company’s ongoing and significant contribution to the state, and the commitment to ensuring communities benefit from the growth and development of Fortescue’s business.

“Since Fortescue was founded, we have invested over $US22 billion in our world-class infrastructure and assets. We have paid corporate tax of more than $3 billion and royalties to the state of more than $4.5 billion,” Gaines said.

“Significantly, we have also awarded $2 billion in contracts to Aboriginal businesses and joint ventures, and nearly 800 Aboriginal people have commenced employment with Fortescue through our Vocational Training and Employment Centre (VTEC) program.”

Since Fortescue’s first shipment in 2008, 30,600 trains have completed dumping at Port Hedland and more than 5000 ships have left the company’s Herb Elliot Port.

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