Fortescue Metals Group has approved the $2.6 billion Iron Bridge Magnetite project in Western Australia, which, the company says, will deliver 22 Mt/y of high-grade 67% Fe concentrate production by mid-2022.
FMG and its joint venture partner Formosa Steel IB approved the development of Stage 2 of the project, following a $500 million investment in the Stage 1 construction of large-scale pilot and demonstration plants, which, FMG said, validated key equipment and magnetite production processes for Stage 2.
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.
“In developing the Iron Bridge Project, Fortescue has demonstrated and refined each step of the ore processing system and conducted full-scale trials. Our focus has been to create the most energy and cost-efficient ore processing facility, tailored to the specific ore we will mine. We are now ready to build this plant and develop this mine, and are confident that our early work will support rapid progress to full production.”