Fortescue Metals Group subsidiary FMG Magnetite and joint venture partner Formosa Steel IB have approved the development of Stage 2 of the Iron Bridge Magnetite Project to deliver 22mtpa high-grade 67 per cent Fe magnetite concentrate product by mid 2022.
This Stage 2 development follows the US$0.5 billion investment in the successful Stage 1 construction of large-scale pilot and demonstration plants which have validated key equipment and magnetite production processes for the full-scale Stage 2 ore processing facility (OPF).
Fortescue’s Chief Executive Officer, Elizabeth Gaines said, “The Iron Bridge Project holds Australia’s largest JORC compliant magnetite resource supporting a long mine life. The successful delivery of the Project by the joint venture partners is underpinned by Fortescue’s unparalleled track record and capability in safely developing and operating major iron ore projects in the Pilbara.”
“We are confident this project will deliver growth in earnings and cashflow, resulting in enhanced returns to our shareholders and our joint venture partners through all market cycles.
“The Project is well progressed and ready for detailed design and execution with the majority of key approvals already in place. The innovative design, including the use of a dry crushing and grinding circuit, will deliver an industry-leading energy efficient operation with globally competitive capital intensity and operating costs,” Ms Gaines said.
Fortescue anticipates that the Iron Bridge Project will deliver a premium product with iron content of 67 per cent.
“When combined with the Eliwana development, it will increase Fortescue’s average product grade and provide the ability to deliver the majority of our products at greater than 60 per cent Fe, consistent with our long-term goal,” said Ms Gaines.
“We are confident in the long-term demand for this premium product, supported by market fundamentals, including global supply conditions, investment in higher efficiency steel-making capacity, as well as the competitive advantage of proximity of the Pilbara to key markets in China and the region.
“The Project will underpin the future significant contribution of magnetite processing to the Australian economy through construction and jobs, together with tax and royalty payments,” Ms Gaines said.
The Project is located 145km south of Port Hedland and owned through an unincorporated joint venture (UJV) between FMG Iron Bridge (69 per cent) and Formosa (31 per cent). FMG Magnetite Pty Ltd is a subsidiary of FMG IB, a Hong Kong registered company owned by Fortescue (88 per cent) and a subsidiary of Baosteel Resources International Company Limited (Baosteel) (12 per cent).