Construction of this large, low cost mining operation began in the June Quarter 2011. More than three billion tonnes of high grade ore has been discovered so far at the Solomon Hub, 120 kilometres to the west of the Chichester Hub, and the operation will take advantage of the low strip ratios, conventional mining methods and Fortescue's existing integrated supply chain.
A maiden reserve of 716 million tonnes announced in May 2011 underwrites plans for the first stage of the Solomon Hub to produce 60 million tonnes of ore each year from the Firetail and Kings deposits.
Firetail is a bedded Brockman deposit with a product grade of 59 per cent Fe. At the Kings deposit, approximately five kilometres to the south in the adjacent valley, the resource is predominately Channel Iron Deposit, with a product grade of 57 per cent Fe.