Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) has received approval from authorities to increase the material handling capacity of its Herb Elliott port facility in Western Australia from 175 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) to 210 mtpa on a staged basis.
Granted under the Western Australian Environmental Protection Act 1986, the approval includes provisions for 188 mtpa of hematite ore and 22 mtpa of magnetite concentrate. The high-grade magnetite product will be produced from the Iron Bridge magnetite operations, with first ore on ship from Iron Bridge scheduled for mid-2022.
The revised licence utilises the capacity of Fortescue’s existing port infrastructure, comprising five berths and three shiploaders, and supports the company’s 2021 financial year iron ore shipments guidance of 175 to 180 mt.
“Fortescue's port operations are world leading and we have continually demonstrated our capacity to optimise the efficiency and productivity of our port infrastructure to deliver iron ore to our customers,” said Elizabeth Gaines, Fortescue chief executive officer.
“The increase in the licensed capacity of Fortescue's Herb Elliott port from 175 mtpa to 210 mtpa is in line with our strategy to deliver growth through investment, including the US$2.6 billion investment in the Iron Bridge project. This significant project will deliver 22 mtpa of high-grade magnetite product, enhancing the range of products available to our customers through our flexible integrated operations and marketing strategy.
“We will continue to ensure that Fortescue remains a significant long-term contributor to the state and national economies through growth and development of our iron ore assets, job creation and investment,” Gaines said.
Fortescue said it has installed and implemented additional dust management controls to ensure there will be no net increase in emissions as a result of the increase in throughput capacity at the Herb Elliott port.