Fortescue Metals Group says it has received approval from authorities to increase the material handling capacity of its Herb Elliott Port facility, in Western Australia, from 175 Mt/y to 210 Mt/y on a staged basis.
The approval, under the West Australian Environmental Protection Act 1986, includes provisions for 188 Mt/y of hematite ore and 22 Mt/y of magnetite concentrate. The high-grade magnetite product will be produced from the Iron Bridge magnetite operations, with first ore on ship from Iron Bridge scheduled for mid-2022.
The revised licence uses the capacity of Fortescue’s existing port infrastructure, comprising five berths and three ship loaders, and supports its 2021 financial year iron ore shipments guidance of 175-180 Mt.
Chief Executive Officer, Elizabeth Gaines, said: “Fortescue’s port operations are world leading and we have continually demonstrated our capacity to optimise the efficiency and productivity of our port infrastructure to deliver iron ore to our customers.
“The increase in the licensed capacity of Fortescue’s Herb Elliott Port from 175 Mt/y to 210 Mt/y is in line with our strategy to deliver growth through investment, including the $2.6 billion investment in the Iron Bridge project. This significant project will deliver 22 Mt/y of high-grade magnetite product, enhancing the range of products available to our customers through our flexible integrated operations and marketing strategy.
“We will continue to ensure that Fortescue remains a significant long-term contributor to the state and national economies through growth and development of our iron ore assets, job creation and investment.”
Fortescue says it maintains a high level of vigilance over its management of dust in Port Hedland, with installation and implementation of additional controls ensuring no net increase in dust emissions as a result of the progressive increase in throughput capacity at Herb Elliott.