In less than a decade, Fortescue has gone from strength to strength through its unparalleled growth. Listed in the S&P/ASX50 share index, Fortescue has firmly established itself as one of the world's leaders in iron ore production and sea-borne trading.
Fortescue's tenements are located throughout the resource rich Pilbara region of Western Australia and in such close proximity to the world's major markets of China and Asia, making the Pilbara widely regarded as the world's best address for iron ore.
Fortescue has achieved these goals through engagement and support from key stakeholders including our people, local communities including traditional land owners, governments, suppliers, customers, non-government organisation and the financial markets.
Construction of Fortescue's initial mine, rail and port project commenced in early 2006. Incredibly, just two years later in early 2008, the rail and port infrastructure were completed and operations were underway at Cloudbreak, Fortescue's flagship mine.
In the first full year of operations, Fortescue mined, railed and shipped more than 27 million tonnes of iron ore to customers in China. The following year saw 40 million tonnes delivered and more than 55 million tonnes in FY12, current expansion plans are committed to increasing Fortescue's production capacity to 155 million tonnes per annum.
Many significant milestones have been achieved in Fortescue's short history including the establishment of Fortescue's second mine site at Christmas Creek, which combined with Cloudbreak operations comprise the Chichester Hub, linked by approximately 50 kilometres of railway.
Construction is well underway at Solomon which will be Fortescue's newest mining operation upon completion. A rail spur is under construction to link Solomon to the existing rail and port infrastructure. Extensive expansion work has already been completed to date at Fortescue's Herb Elliott Port to include a third ship loading berth and second ship loader, while work continues on the fourth berth and second and third inload circuit.
Since Fortescue's inception, an integral part of the company's policy has been its approach to opportunities for Aboriginal people. To facilitate training and employment opportunities, in 2006, Fortescue established its Vocational Training Employment Centre (VTEC) In South Hedland. The unique philosophy to provide training for guaranteed jobs was so successful, a Roebourne VTEC was later established in 2010.
An historical moment in Fortescue's history saw the company reach its Summit 300 target in June 2011 to employ 300 Aboriginal people in its operations. Summit 300 was Fortescue's commitment to the Australian Employment Covenant, the nation-wide initiative to secure commitments for 50,000 jobs for Aboriginal people.