Tag Archives: Elizabeth Gaines

Fortescue looks to ‘accelerate and support’ mine decarbonisation with WAE buy

Fortescue Metals Group has entered into an agreement to acquire UK-based Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE) from EMK Capital and Williams Grand Prix Engineering Limited for £164 million ($223 million) in a deal that will, FMG says, enable it to accelerate and support the decarbonisation of its mining operations as well as establish an important new business growth opportunity.

The transaction is expected to conclude by the end of March 2022, subject to the satisfaction of customary conditions precedent including United Kingdom foreign investment approval.

WAE, an offshoot of the Williams F1 team founded by the revered, late Sir Frank Williams CBE, will be vertically integrated into Fortescue’s diversified resources and green energy business and will be managed via Fortescue Future Industries (FFI), Fortescue’s green energy and green technology division.

Fortescue has worked closely with WAE since early 2021 to design and build a prototype battery system to power an electric mining haul truck, an important first step in the decarbonisation of its mining haul fleet, the miner said.

Together, Fortescue and WAE will develop battery-electric solutions for Fortescue’s rail, mobile haul fleet and other heavy mining equipment, to accelerate the rapid abatement of diesel usage to achieve the decarbonisation of Fortescue’s mining operations by 2030. In addition, Fortescue and WAE will work together to grow WAE’s green technology and engineering business.

One of the first major projects to be developed will be a world leading battery-electric train concept. Fortescue and FFI will announce further details on this early in 2022. The two are also working on a 240 t all-battery-electric truck that is in development. WAE has begun testing the cells of a battery that will power the battery-electric truck before performance testing at FMG’s Pilbara mining operations.

Fortescue, as a foundation customer, will support the development and manufacturing of battery-electric and hydrogen fuel cell power units with the goal for WAE to become a major player in the growing global market for heavy mobile equipment and rail.

WAE has also worked with Anglo American on its 291-t-class Komatsu 930E fuel cell electric vehicle.

Fortescue Founder and Chairman, Dr Andrew Forrest, said: “Together FFI and WAE will work to decarbonise Fortescue – with the aim of achieving that faster and more effectively than anyone else in the world. This is an historic moment in the future of our company as we welcome the WAE family into the Fortescue family to work together to decarbonise heavy industry and hard to abate sectors for the good of our planet, and the benefit of our shareholders.

“This announcement is the key to unlocking the formula for removing fossil fuel powered machinery and replacing it with zero carbon emission technology, powered by FFI green electricity, green hydrogen and green ammonia.”

Fortescue Chief Executive Officer, Elizabeth Gaines, said: “Fortescue and WAE share strong cultural alignment with a focus on technology and innovation to support carbon neutrality, both companies being leaders in their respective industries.

“We have been working with WAE since early 2021, with WAE designing and building a battery system to power an electric mining haul truck; an important first step in the decarbonisation of Fortescue’s mining haul fleet. WAE’s expertise in battery systems and electrification further complements FFI’s green hydrogen projects for haul trucks and mobile fleet to further underpin our technical leadership.

“We look forward to working together to apply this technology-first strategy to our emissions reduction pathway while also empowering the highly capable WAE team to achieve growth opportunities in new products, services and markets.”

FFI Chief Executive Officer, Julie Shuttleworth, added: “The acquisition of WAE adds cutting-edge technology, intellectual property and engineering capabilities to support and accelerate FFI’s Green Fleet technology pathway. Rapid growth of WAE’s world-leading technology and engineering business and an expansion of its manufacturing footprint further enhances FFI’s position to become a major player in the global market for decarbonisation of the global heavy industry sector.”

Craig Wilson, Chief Executive Officer WAE, said: “High performance battery and electrification systems are at the core of what we do at WAE, and this acquisition and investment will enable the company’s further growth to support the delivery of zero emission products and services across existing sectors – such as automotive, motorsport and off-highway – and new sectors too. This will benefit all of our stakeholders along with current and future customers who are very important to us.

“We are delighted to play a key role in Fortescue’s decarbonisation strategy, contributing to the delivery of their emissions reduction targets through high performance battery systems, green hydrogen and related technologies. We will also be focusing on addressing the sector-wide challenges in the off-highway sector. Both companies have a shared culture of innovation, setting and achieving challenging objectives and a genuine commitment to creating a sustainable future.”

Fortescue, FFI and Progress Rail collaborate on battery-electric loco deployment

Fortescue says it is continuing to progress the decarbonisation of its locomotive fleet with the purchase of two new battery-electric locomotives from Progress Rail to transport its iron ore to port in Western Australia.

The new eight-axle locomotives will have an energy capacity of 14.5 MWh and will be manufactured at the Progress Rail facility in Sete Lagoas, Brazil.

Fortescue, in December, said it was planning to test locomotives powered solely on green ammonia and other green renewable fuels and technologies at its rail operations in 2022, with two four-stroke locomotives arriving at Fortescue Future Industries’ Hazelmere facility, in Western Australia. These locos will undergo further testing on the new fuel system, joining other two-stroke locomotives which underwent testing earlier in 2021.

Fortescue Chief Executive Officer, Elizabeth Gaines, said on the latest developments: “The purchase of these new battery-powered locomotives marks an important milestone in the decarbonisation of Fortescue’s locomotive fleet and demonstrates our commitment to achieving carbon neutrality for Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030, as we diversify from a pure-play iron ore producer to a green renewables and resources company.

“The new locomotives will cut our emissions while also reducing our fuel costs and our overall operational expense through lower maintenance spend.

“The acquisition builds on the work being carried out by Fortescue Future Industries’ Green Team in Hazelmere to deliver locomotives operating solely on green ammonia and other green renewable fuels and technologies.”

Fortescue is expected to take delivery of its first battery-powered locomotive in 2023.

Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) Chief Executive Officer, Julie Shuttleworth, added: “FFI is a key enabler of Fortescue’s decarbonisation strategy. Our Green Team has made outstanding progress in their mission to transform Fortescue’s trains, trucks, ships and other mobile equipment to operate on zero pollution fuels as soon as possible, and the purchase of these new battery-powered locomotives complements this work.

“Fortescue and FFI are working together to demonstrate that renewables can power the energy needs of Australia’s mining and resources sector.”

Marty Haycraft, President & CEO of Progress Rail, a Caterpillar Company, said: “We are pleased to be working with the Fortescue team to determine the application, feasibility and suitability of battery-electric technology for deployment on their railway and to manufacture two of our BE14.5BB locomotives for this important project.

“We look forward to continuing to support our global customers with innovative products and services to help them meet their sustainability goals.”

Fortescue’s Chichester Hub iron ore operations hit solar power milestone

Fortescue Metals Group’s Chichester Hub operations are now being powered by solar energy following the completion of the 60 MW Alinta Energy Chichester Solar Gas Hybrid Project in Western Australia’s Pilbara region, the miner confirmed.

Completion of the project with Alinta Energy marks a major milestone in the delivery of Fortescue’s decarbonisation strategy, as the company works towards its ambitious target of being carbon neutral by 2030 for Scope 1 and 2 emissions.

The solar farm will power up to 100% of daytime operations at Fortescue’s Christmas Creek and Cloudbreak iron ore sites, displacing around 100 million litres of diesel every year. The remaining power requirements will be met through battery storage and gas generation at Alinta Energy’s Newman Power Station, FMG said.

Fortescue Chief Executive Officer, Elizabeth Gaines said: “The completion of this project is a practical example of Fortescue delivering on its ambitious carbon neutrality target and demonstrates that renewables can power the energy needs of Australia’s mining and resources sector.

“As Fortescue transitions from a pure-play iron ore producer to a green energy and resources company, this milestone is a critical part of our Pilbara Energy Connect project which, together with the Chichester solar farm, will see 25% of Fortescue’s stationary energy powered by solar.”

Alinta Energy’s MD & CEO, Jeff Dimery, said: “Together, we’ve built a benchmark renewable project with an ambitious partner and, given the abundance of high quality renewables resources in the Pilbara, we look forward to supporting others to do the same.

“I’m very proud of the team and thank Fortescue, our partners, contractors and suppliers, NAIF, ARENA, and, in particular the Nyiyaparli People, on whose country the solar farm sits.”

The project also includes the construction of approximately 60 km of new transmission lines, linking Fortescue’s Christmas Creek and Cloudbreak mines to the solar farm and Alinta Energy’s existing energy generation infrastructure in Newman.

Fortescue making plans to test ‘green’ locomotives at rail operations in 2022

The decarbonisation of Fortescue Metals Group’s (Fortescue) locomotive fleet is ramping up with the arrival of two additional locomotives at Fortescue Future Industries’ (FFI) research and development facility in Perth, Western Australia.

The two four-stroke locomotives will undergo further testing on the new fuel system, joining the first two-stroke locomotive which underwent testing earlier this year.

Fortescue Chief Executive Officer, Elizabeth Gaines, said the arrival of the additional locomotives allowed FFI’s Green Team to expand their development as they focus on delivering a locomotive operating solely on green ammonia and other green renewable fuels and technologies.

“This is part of Fortescue’s ambitious target to be carbon neutral by 2030 for Scope 1 and 2 emissions,” she said. “Our target is underpinned by a pathway to decarbonisation as we focus on investing in renewable energy and eliminating the use of diesel across our mining fleets. Fortescue’s fleet of locomotives is a critical element in decarbonising our operations and, through FFI, we are investing in cutting-edge technologies to power the green mining fleet of the future.”

FFI’s Green Team have been trialling technology in hydrogen, ammonia and battery power for trains, ship engines, haul trucks and drill rigs.

Earlier this year, the team achieved the successful combustion of blended ammonia fuel in a two-stroke locomotive, marking a significant milestone in Fortescue delivering on its decarbonisation targets.

FFI Chief Executive Officer, Julie Shuttleworth, said: “FFI is a key enabler of Fortescue’s decarbonisation strategy, and it is pleasing to see such rapid progress being made by our Green Team. We are investing in research and development to transform Fortescue’s trains, trucks and ships on the road, rail and sea with zero pollution fuels as soon as possible.”

Planning is underway to deploy a demonstration locomotive in Fortescue’s rail operations in 2022.

Rio, BHP and Fortescue partner on new learning programs to create safer workplaces

Rio Tinto, BHP and Fortescue Metals Group (Fortescue) have agreed to partner and fund what they say are innovative, industry-first learning programs as part of a continued commitment towards mining sector workplaces that are free from sexual harassment, bullying and racism.

Through this partnership, the miners will fund and contribute to the design, build and implementation of new social awareness education packages for deployment through a range of education providers such as TAFE, Registered Training Organisations (RTOs), universities and high schools.

By starting conversations on these vital topics through education providers, the industry can make an important contribution to raise awareness of social wellbeing and related behaviours (collectively referred to as “psychosocial harm”) for the benefit of all Western Australians, they said.

The collaboration partners will invite leading experts in social wellbeing to form part of a working group bringing together government, community, industry and educators across TAFE, RTOs, universities and high schools in Western Australia to design and implement the program.

A pilot program for TAFE students will be developed through South Metropolitan TAFE. The pilot, to be developed in 2022, will form part of core learning requirements for students who may be planning to join Rio Tinto, BHP or Fortescue. South Metropolitan TAFE will go on to share this education package through the broader WA TAFE network.

The partnership will also explore the potential to work with universities and high schools to encompass broader education pathways across the state, as well as for delivery in workplaces. In time, these packages will be made available for application across broader industries and across other parts of Australia, the miners said.

The education program is one of a number of initiatives introduced by mining companies to address sexual harassment, bullying and racism in Western Australia’s mining sector.

All three companies joined with the Chamber of Minerals and Energy earlier this year to pledge support for the parliamentary enquiry into sexual harassment against women in the FIFO mining industry and committed to work together to eradicate these behaviours from the sector.

Rio Tinto Chief Executive, Iron Ore, Simon Trott, said: “Our number one priority is the safety, health and wellbeing of our people and our communities. We recognise that we have some way to go to achieve workplaces free from sexual harassment, bullying and racism across our industry and we are committed to making the changes needed to create a safer work environment where respectful behaviour is experienced by everyone.

“Education is one part of a range of measures Rio Tinto is introducing to create safer workplaces, including building leadership capability, improving our camp facilities, new rules on the consumption of alcohol, as well as improving the way we prevent, respond to, report and investigate incidents in order to build a respectful, safe and inclusive culture.

“We expect this partnership with BHP and FMG will help build a safer workplace and help empower our future workforce to create the culture we need.”

BHP WA Iron Ore Asset President, Brandon Craig, said: “Sexual assault and sexual harassment have no place at BHP or anywhere in our industry. We are committed to providing a safe and inclusive workplace at all times, where disrespectful behaviours are eliminated. Education and training are critical to ensuring common understanding of the behaviours that are appropriate and acceptable at BHP.

“This industry collaboration will complement our existing internal training programs, leadership training, communication campaigns, and upgrades to camp security, and support services available to anyone who experiences disrespectful behaviour.”

Fortescue Metals Group Chief Executive Officer, Elizabeth Gaines, said: “The safety and wellbeing of the Fortescue family is our highest priority and we are strongly committed to providing a safe, diverse and inclusive work environment for all our team members. There is no place for harassment and bullying of any kind in the mining sector or in any workplace, and we will continue to work with industry partners to take decisive action to ensure our workplaces are safe for everyone.

“In line with our value of empowerment, this partnership with Rio Tinto and BHP will provide young West Australians looking at a career in the mining sector with the skills to identify and speak up against inappropriate behaviour and enhance the safety, culture and experience of working in Western Australia’s mining sector.”

Fortescue issues ‘industry-leading’ Scope 3 emissions targets

Fortescue Metals Group has announced what it says is an industry-leading target to achieve net zero Scope 3 emissions by 2040, addressing emissions across Fortescue’s entire global value chain, including crude steel manufacturing which accounts for 98% of the company’s Scope 3 emissions.

Fortescue’s approach to reducing Scope 3 emissions is to develop projects and technologies with a focus on reducing emissions from iron and steel making and to work with current and prospective customers on the application of the technology and the supply of green hydrogen and ammonia from Fortescue Future Industries (FFI). Fortescue will also prioritise the decarbonisation of its own fleet of eight ore carriers and engage with shipping partners to reduce, and aiming to eliminate, emissions from shipping.

FFI is targeting the production of 15 Mt of green hydrogen annually by 2030, which will underpin opportunities to work with customers and shipping partners on emissions reduction and elimination projects.

In addition to the long-term goal to achieve net zero Scope 3 emissions by 2040, the following medium-term targets have been set:

  • Enable a reduction in emissions intensity levels from the shipping of Fortescue’s ores by 50% by 2030 from financial year (FY) 2021 levels; and
  • Enable a reduction in emissions intensity levels from steel making by Fortescue’s customers of 7.5% by 2030 from FY21 levels, to 100% by 2040.

Fortescue Chief Executive Officer, Elizabeth Gaines, said: “Climate change is the most pressing issue of our generation and at Fortescue, setting stretch targets is at the core of our culture and values and we are proud to set this goal to tackle emissions across our value chain.

“Fortescue has commenced its transition from a pure play iron ore producer to a green renewables and resources company, underpinned by the world’s first major carbon emission heavy industry operation to set a target to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030. This Scope 3 target is consistent with this transition and complements our targets for Scope 1 and 2 emissions reduction.

“Collaboration is integral to driving the rapid transition to green energy, and we remain committed to actively engaging with our customers, suppliers and other key industry participants to facilitate the reduction of emissions. This includes the development of technologies and the supply of green hydrogen and ammonia through FFI, which will provide significant opportunities for the steel, cement and land and sea transport industries to decarbonise.”

To achieve the target, Fortescue and FFI are focused on accelerating a number of key initiatives:

  • Conversion of existing maritime vessels, including Fortescue’s fleet of ore carriers, to be fuelled by green ammonia;
  • Supporting the adoption of green ammonia in new vessel construction;
  • Pursuing opportunities for emissions reduction and elimination in iron and steel making, facilitated by the use of renewable energy and green hydrogen; and
  • Research and development work to produce green iron and cement from Fortescue ores at low temperatures without coal.

FFI Chief Executive Officer, Julie Shuttleworth, said: “Our investments in technologies and research and development are focused on demonstrating that the production of iron ore, cement, iron and steel can operate with renewable energy.

“Our work to decarbonise Fortescue’s iron ore operations will position Fortescue as the first major supplier of green iron ore in the world, paving the way for production of green iron and a new green steel industry.”

Fortescue and Wintawari establish ‘culturally safe’ JV for Solomon Hub operations

Fortescue Metals Group and members of the Wintawari Guruma Aboriginal Corporation, the prescribed body corporate for the Eastern Guruma People, have today announced a co-management framework to oversee the development of new mines at Fortescue’s Solomon Hub operations in Western Australia.

Under the framework, Fortescue and members of Wintawari will establish a “culturally safe” mining joint venture to mine the East and West Queens deposits on Eastern Guruma country. The 10-year mine services contract to be awarded to the new joint venture is estimated to be worth over A$500 million ($367 million), making the contract the largest ever awarded to an Aboriginal business by Fortescue.

A working group will be formed to collaboratively work together on all stages of the mine development from heritage and environmental approvals, resource drilling and definition and mine planning to operations and rehabilitation, Fortescue says. The agreement builds on the decade-long relationship between the parties, which was formalised in a Land Access Agreement in December 2009.

Wintawari Chair, Glen Camille, said: “The establishment of this new co-management joint venture represents the next step in our journey with Fortescue. We are glad to work with Andrew Forrest and Fortescue to improve the economic outcomes for Aboriginal people and thank Andrew for his demonstrated commitment.

“Working collaboratively, we will ensure that Eastern Guruma people are active participants in the future development of mines on our country, enabling deeper consultation around the protection of culturally significant sites while building a better future for our people.”

Fortescue Chief Executive Officer, Elizabeth Gaines, said: “Fortescue is proud of our longstanding relationship with Wintawari Guruma Aboriginal Corporation. We are confident that this new collaborative framework will strengthen our ties with the Eastern Guruma People, through the unique opportunity to have a seat at the table to share cultural knowledge and guide the growth of Fortescue’s operations on their country.”

Fortescue Senior Manager Indigenous Communities, Heath Nelson, said: “In line with our approach to ensuring our Native Title Partners benefit from our growth and development, this joint venture will also deliver significant economic opportunities through employment and contracting opportunities.”

Fortescue Chairman and Founder, Dr Andrew Forrest AO, said: “It gives me enormous pride to bear witness to this framework, which will shape a new shared direction for Fortescue and the Eastern Guruma People. Together, we will provide enduring benefit for future generations, while preserving their unique culture and heritage.”

Fortescue hits new automation milestone in the Pilbara

Fortescue Metals Group’s autonomous haulage (AHS) fleet has marked a significant milestone, moving two billion tonnes of material, doubling the amount hauled since reaching the one billion tonne milestone in September 2019.

In 2012, Fortescue was the first in the world to deploy Caterpillar’s AHS technology on a commercial scale at its Solomon Hub operations in the Pilbara of Western Australia and the multi-class fleet has since expanded across the company’s operations with a total of 193 autonomous trucks now in operation.

Fortescue Chief Executive Officer, Elizabeth Gaines, said: “Fortescue is a leader in the implementation of autonomous haulage across our iron ore operations. Our fleet represents one of the largest in the world, with 79 trucks currently in operation at Solomon, 74 at Christmas Creek and 40 at Cloudbreak. Moving over two billion tonnes of material without a driver at the wheel is a significant milestone and a reflection of Fortescue’s ongoing commitment to increasing operational efficiency through technology and innovation.

“Most importantly, the introduction of AHS technology has led to significant safety improvements for our team members, with our fleet safely travelling over 70 million kilometres to date – the equivalent of 91 return trips to the moon.”

The continued expansion of autonomous capability across the business has demonstrated that autonomy doesn’t need to be at the expense of jobs, with the transition to autonomous haulage providing significant new opportunities for Fortescue’s workforce through the provision of training and redeployment to new roles, Fortescue said.

Gaines added: “Significantly, the adoption of autonomous haulage has allowed us to relocate many traditional site-based roles to our integrated operations centre in Perth, providing opportunities for parents and women in particular to remain engaged in our workforce. Today, almost 50% of our workforce in the Fortescue Hive are women.”

Warraikal to provide maintenance and shutdown services to Fortescue’s Pilbara ops

Following a competitive tender process, Warrikal Pty Ltd, has been awarded a five-year A$350 million ($263 million) contract as one of the providers of maintenance and shutdown services across Fortescue’s Pilbara operations.

Founded by Koori businesswoman, Amanda Healy, and her business partners, Roy Messer and David Flett, Warrikal was established in 2017 to provide innovative engineering solutions across the mining, marine and resource sectors. The company has been providing mechanical maintenance, shutdown and project services across Fortescue’s sites over the last three years.

Fortescue Chief Executive Officer, Elizabeth Gaines, said: “Fortescue is committed to supporting sustainable long-term opportunities for Aboriginal businesses. Procurement is one of the most powerful levers for social and economic change, and from experience we know that a strong Aboriginal business sector is best placed to create employment and development opportunities for their communities.

“I am pleased to announce this significant contract with Warrikal, the largest to be awarded by Fortescue and also among the biggest contracts to be awarded in Australia to a majority-owned Aboriginal business.”

Warrikal Chief Executive Officer, Amanda Healy, said the contract built on the company’s longstanding relationship with Fortescue.

“We look forward to further developing our relationship over coming years, continuing to grow our operational footprint in the northwest of Western Australia and strengthening our long-term commitment to the region and the communities in which we operate.

“The award of this contract and the continual business growth is a testament to our amazing personnel and our reputation for delivering ‘Innovative Engineering Solutions’ across multiple disciplines, whilst maintaining a high standard of safety and quality as a true reflection of each and every Warrikal team member.”

Fortescue’s Billion Opportunities program was established in 2011 as part of the company’s commitment to deliver business development opportunities for Aboriginal people with a strong focus on Traditional Custodian involvement. Since its inception, the program has awarded over A$3 billion in contracts to Aboriginal businesses and joint ventures.

Fortescue’s battery and hydrogen truck, drill developments move to testing phase

Fortescue Future Industries (FFI), the 100% renewable green energy and industry initiative of Fortescue Metals Group Ltd, says it has reached its June 30, 2021 targets for initial decarbonisation projects, with headway made on its hydrogen, ammonia and battery power projects.

FFI CEO, Julie Shuttleworth, said the company set out to test the hypothesis that there was sufficient 100% renewable green energy, hydrogen, ammonia and industrial manufacturing potential, for products such as green cement, green fertiliser, green iron and steel, “to fully satisfy the world’s needs”.

“To demonstrate this within Fortescue, we set ambitious decarbonisation targets for our own heavy industry,” she said. “These are being driven by FFI’s Green Team, who are aiming to eliminate carbon emissions from our own operations. This work commenced in earnest only several months ago and the results have been immense.”

FFI’s Green Team has established a facility at Hazelmere in Perth, Western Australia, where it has been managing and trialling technology on hydrogen, ammonia and battery power for trains, ship engines, haul trucks and drill rigs for technology demonstration.

The “ground-breaking progress” to date includes:

  • Successful combustion of ammonia in a locomotive fuel, with a pathway to achieve completely renewable green fuel;
  • Completion of design and construction of a combustion testing device for large marine (ship) engines, with pilot test work underway and a pathway to achieve completely renewable green shipping fuel;
  • Finalised design of a next generation ore carrier (ship) that will consume renewable green ammonia, with the Classification Society giving in principle design approval;
  • Testing of battery cells to be used on Fortescue haul trucks – a project it is pursuing with Williams Advanced Engineering;
  • Design and construction of a hydrogen-powered haul truck for technology demonstration complete, with systems testing underway;
  • Design and construction of a hydrogen powered drill rig for technology demonstration complete, with systems testing underway;
  • Successful production of high purity (>97%) green iron from Fortescue ores at low temperature in a continuous flow process; and
  • Successful initial trialling to use waste from the green iron process noted above, with other easily sourced materials, to make green cement.

Back in March, Fortescue said it would accelerate its carbon neutrality efforts, now expecting to achieve this ‘green’ milestone by 2030, 10 years earlier than its previous target.

Fortescue CEO, Elizabeth Gaines said the company was using its large industrial platform of operating mine sites in the Pilbara to trial and demonstrate technologies in completely renewable green hydrogen, green ammonia and green electricity.

She added: “All of us at Fortescue are committed to its decarbonisation. Our great progress to date and our ongoing projects underpin Fortescue’s plan to become a major renewable energy and industry product exporter. As part of this plan, we are aiming to meet or beat our internal global industry-leading target to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.”