Fortescue targets $1bn in Aboriginal business contracts

Image: Fortescue Metals Group.

Fortescue has celebrated the 10-year anniversary of its billion opportunities program by committing to a $1 billion target for Aboriginal business contracts by 2030.

The billion opportunities program has promoted sustainable business opportunities for Aboriginal businesses.

Fortescue has awarded $3 billion contracts and sub-contracts through the program since 2011.

The $1 billion by 2030 target will aim to deliver contracts to Aboriginal business and joint ventures focussing on green energy projects.

Fortescue chief executive officer Elizabeth Gaines celebrated the milestone at the Cloudbreak iron ore mine in Western Australia.

“At Fortescue, we know that strong, sustainable Aboriginal businesses create employment and development opportunities for Aboriginal Australians,” Gaines said.

“Today, I am pleased to be at our Cloudbreak mine where we awarded the first contract under billion opportunities in 2011, to reflect on the fantastic achievements of this program. These milestones are a credit to the Fortescue team, whose commitment has ensured the success of this initiative which continues to deliver lasting change for Aboriginal communities.”

The Cloudbreak mine is located in the Chichester Hub, which has a production capacity of 100 million tonnes per annum.

Majority Aboriginal owned business Brindabella Resources was awarded a three-year contract by Fortescue this year to supply plant hire equipment for Cloudbreak.

Brindabella was able to purchase the equipment through a $50 million ANZ leasing facility backed by Fortescue.

“Brindabella Resources was established with the vision to deliver opportunities for women in the government and private sector, with a particular focus on creating long-term sustainable employment opportunities for all Aboriginal people,” Brindabella Resources co-owner Elsa Derschow said.

“Being able to work with Fortescue and access competitive finance through the leasing facility with ANZ has been a tremendous benefit and enabled us to secure plant equipment which will assist with the long-term sustainability of our business.”

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