The maiden shipment of Fortescue Metals Group’s new 60.1% Fe content product, West Pilbara Fines, has recently left Herb Elliott Port in Port Hedland, Western Australia, bound for Hunan Valin Steel in China.
Fortescue will produce 5-10 Mt of West Pilbara Fines in the year to end-June 2019 by blending higher iron, low alumina ore from the western pits at the Cloudbreak operations with ore from the Firetail mine. This involves the use of an innovative 5 km relocatable conveyor, provided by RCR Tomlinson.
When Fortescue’s$1.275 billion Eliwana iron ore project begins production in December 2020, production of West Pilbara Fines is expected to ramp up to 40 Mt/y.
Fortescue Chief Executive Officer, Elizabeth Gaines, said: “The production of West Pilbara Fines demonstrates the flexibility of our wholly–owned, integrated mining operations and infrastructure and the agility of our processing and blending strategy.
“For the last decade, we have delivered a range of differentiated products with a high value in use for our customers. As we look out to financial year 2019 and beyond, West Pilbara Fines will further enhance the range of ores available, as we continue to ensure that our quality control and product consistency are maintained at the highest levels for our customers in China, Asia and Europe.”
Chairman of Hunan Valin, Dr Cao Zhiaqiang, said: “We are very pleased to be the first steel mill customer for West Pilbara Fines. Fortescue continues to understand and respond to the market’s needs by expanding its product suite, while remaining focussed on delivering high value in use products.”