Fortescue Metals Group (Fortescue) has celebrated two significant milestones as part of its Billion Opportunities procurement initiative. Coinciding with the program’s 10-year anniversary, more than A$3 billion in contracts and sub-contracts have been awarded to Aboriginal businesses and joint ventures since the initiative was launched in 2011.
Marking the milestone at Cloudbreak with Western Australia’s Aboriginal Affairs Minister, Hon Stephen Dawson MLC, Fortescue Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Gaines also announced Fortescue Future Industries would commit to a target of awarding A$1 billion in contracts to Aboriginal businesses and joint ventures on green energy projects by 2030.
Ms Gaines said, “At Fortescue, we know that strong, sustainable Aboriginal businesses create employment and development opportunities for Aboriginal Australians.
“We are incredibly proud to have partnered with Aboriginal businesses and joint venture partners through our industry leading Billion Opportunities program, providing businesses with the tools to build value and sustainability and improve their competitiveness and capability.
“Today, I am pleased to be at our Cloudbreak mine where we awarded the first contract under Billion Opportunities in 2011, to reflect on the fantastic achievements of this program. These milestones are a credit to the Fortescue team, whose commitment has ensured the success of this initiative which continues to deliver lasting change for Aboriginal communities,” Ms Gaines said.
Brindabella Resources, a majority Aboriginal owned business established by five women who are Traditional Custodians from the Pilbara area, was awarded a three-year contract in 2021 to provide plant hire equipment for Cloudbreak. Brindabella was also able to access finance to purchase the assets through the A$50 million ANZ leasing facility, supported by a guarantee from Fortescue.
Brindabella Resources Co-owner Elsa Derschow said, “Brindabella Resources was established with the vision to deliver opportunities for women in the government and private sector, with a particular focus on creating long term sustainable employment opportunities for all Aboriginal people.
“Being able to work with Fortescue and access competitive finance through the leasing facility with ANZ has been a tremendous benefit and enabled us to secure plant equipment which will assist with the long term sustainability of our business,” Ms Derschow said.
(From L-R) Fortescue Chief Financial Officer Ian Wells, Fortescue Senior Manager Indigenous Communities and Community Development Heath Nelson, Brindabella Resources Co-owner Elsa Derschow, Fortescue Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Gaines, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Hon Stephen Dawson MLC, Fortescue Board Member Jenn Morris and Fortescue General Manager Chichester Hub Jay Natesan