Fortescue Metals Group has continued its longstanding commitment to Aboriginal procurement and delivery of benefits for its Native Title partners, with over A$13 million ($10.1 million) of new contracts awarded as part of the company’s Iron Bridge Magnetite project.
Two contracts have been awarded to 100%-owned Aboriginal-owned business Jukawalyi Resources Pty Ltd, and the Yulu Joint Venture (a joint venture company between Njamal Resource Enterprises Pty Ltd and Icon SI (Aust) Pty Ltd).
Both companies are owned by members of the Njamal Native Title group, who are the traditional custodians of the land where Iron Bridge is located.
Under the contract, Jukawalyi will provide light vehicles for the Iron Bridge operations. The future sustainability and ongoing success of Jukawalyi will be further supported with Fortescue acting as a guarantor for the purchase of the vehicles, through Fortescue’s guaranteed leasing facility with ANZ, it said.
Yulu JV was awarded a contract to complete a portion of the non-mining process infrastructure work, including designing and constructing the main ore processing facility administration building, laboratory building and associated facilities.
The Iron Bridge, operated under an unincorporated joint venture between Fortescue subsidiary, FMG Magnetite Pty Ltd, and Formosa Steel IB, covers the development of a new magnetite mine, including processing and transport facilities. The $2.6 billion development is expected to produce 22 Mt/y (wet) of high grade, magnetite concentrate, with first ore in 2022.
Fortescue Chief Executive Officer, Elizabeth Gaines, said: “Fortescue is proud of our strong relationships with Native Title groups across the Pilbara, which is delivering significant benefits including jobs, training and business development opportunities for Aboriginal people, their families and their communities.
“Empowering businesses like Jukawalyi and Yulu JV to make long-term, beneficial business decisions is at the heart of our Billion Opportunities initiative. These contracts will provide the opportunity to build local capability and asset ownership for these local Aboriginal businesses.”
Jukawalyi Managing Director, Joanne Taylor, said: “As a small family-owned business based in Port Hedland, the ability to access finance in addition to the contract with Fortescue is transformative, providing us with the ability to take our business to the next level.”
Yulu JV owner, Troy Eaton, said: “We are proud to secure this work for such an important project. With the Pilbara positioned for ongoing development, the securing of this project leaves us well-positioned to capture future opportunities for both Yulu JV and the Njamal People.”
Since its inception in 2011, Fortescue’s Billion Opportunities program has awarded over A$2.7 billion in contracts and sub-contracts to Aboriginal businesses and joint venture partners.