Cloudbreak, 15 May 2018: Fortescue Metals Group (Fortescue) today celebrated 10 years of iron ore exports resulting in over one billion tonnes of contribution to Australia’s economic growth.
Exactly a decade ago today, Fortescue shipped its first 180,000 tonnes of iron ore aboard the Cape size vessel Heng Shan from Herb Elliott Port in Port Hedland. Since then, the company has become the lowest cost and most efficient supplier of seaborne iron ore into China.
Speaking at the celebration event at Cloudbreak, Fortescue’s original mine site, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said Fortescue has changed the face of the Pilbara and the Australian mining industry.
“Fortescue has contributed to the economic strength of our nation, providing employment and training opportunities for thousands of people including Indigenous workers, significant contracts that benefit local communities as well as playing a key role in the Australia-China relationship,” the Minister said.
Fortescue Founder and Chairman Andrew Forrest AO paid tribute to the hard work and determination of the entire Fortescue family including suppliers, customers, pastoralists, native title partners and local communities since the company’s inception in 2003.
“From the first discovery hole drilled at Cloudbreak to now sustaining consistent production at 170 million tonnes per year, Fortescue is truly an Australian success story,” he said.
“Ten years ago, I said Australia now had a new flagship company and today Fortescue continues to proudly wave that flag.”
Mr Forrest also acknowledged Fortescue’s long-term relationship with its Chinese customers, which has played a critical role in the company’s growth.
“We are proud of our contribution to China’s remarkable economic development and our role in supporting the important trade relationship between China and Australia which has been vital to driving economic growth in both nations,” he said.“There is an exciting future ahead. We look forward to continuing to invest in the long-term sustainability of our core iron ore business in the Pilbara and ensuring that local communities continue to benefit from our growth and development.”