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Fortescue consolidates costs as iron ore shipments peak


Fortescue Metals Group achieved record iron ore shipments of 45.6 million tonnes for the September quarter as the company maintained a low cost profile during the three-month period.

The Perth-based company mined 60.8 million tonnes of iron ore for the quarter at C1 costs of $US15.25 ($20.22)/wet metric tonne, while 48.4 million tonnes of iron ore was processed across the same timeframe.

Its record first quarter iron ore shipment figures were three per cent higher than the first quarter of the 2021 financial year, but down on the 49.3 million tonnes shipped in the June quarter of 2021.

The company’s guidance for iron ore shipments, C1 cost and capital expenditure for the 2022 financial year remain unchanged.

Fortescue chief executive officer Elizabeth Gaines said she was thrilled with the results of the past quarter, especially the cost reduction efforts.

“Our C1 cost was in line with the previous quarter, reflecting our strong focus on cost management to mitigate inflationary pressures,” she said.

“Strong performance across the supply chain, together with the contribution of Eliwana continues to drive record operational performance.”

Fortescue continued to diversify its operations in the September quarter with the announcement of a renewable energy and green hydrogen manufacturing centre to be built in Gladstone, Queensland.

The company also launched a landmark co-management framework with members of Wintawari Guruma Aboriginal Corporation that will see the partners develop new mines at Fortescue’s Solomon Hub operations in Western Australia.

Fortescue’s Iron Bridge magnetite project remains on track to deliver 22 million tonnes of high grade 67 per cent Fe (iron) magnetite concentrate per annum, with first production scheduled for December 2022.

The September quarter saw Fortescue reach a number of key milestones at Iron Bridge, including the delivery and installation of the first modules to site, the installation of the first high pressure grinding roll (HPGR) at the tertiary crushing facility and the construction of the module offload facility at Port Hedland’s Lumsden Point.

Fortescue continued exploration work at its copper-gold portfolio in Western Australia during the period.

This included the completion of airborne magnetic and electromagnetic surveys, a ground gravity survey and on-ground mapping and soil sampling at the Paterson and Rudall projects.

Fortescue is also completing a follow-up drilling program at its Arcoona project in South Australia following an initial campaign.

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