Tag Archives: Pilbara Energy Connect

Iron Bridge Magnetite project progresses with first ore feed milestone

Fortescue Metals Group has reached a new milestone on its majority-owned Iron Bridge Magnetite project in the Pilbara of Western Australia, with first ore fed into the processing plant.

With first production anticipated in the March 2023 quarter, Iron Bridge will see the world’s fourth largest iron ore miner deliver an enhanced product range and create 900 new jobs, it said.

Significantly, it could become one of Fortescue’s first fossil fuel free sites, enabled by the recently announced $6.2 billion decarbonisation investment to reach “real zero” Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030.

At a milestone event held at Iron Bridge today, Fortescue’s Executive Chairman, Andrew Forrest, was joined by Chief Operating Officer Iron Ore, Dino Otranto, Fortescue Board members, Elizabeth Gaines and Penny Bingham-Hall, representatives from joint venture partner Formosa, Western Australian Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Roger Cook, along with company executives, valued partners and suppliers.

Traditional Custodians also attended the milestone event to welcome over 100 guests to Nyamal country.

Iron Bridge, 145 km south of Port Hedland, will deliver 22 Mt/y of high grade 67% Fe magnetite concentrate. This product enables Fortescue to enter the high iron ore grade market segment, providing an enhanced product range while also increasing annual production and shipping capacity, it said.

Since the investment decision in April 2019, more than 12.8 million workhours have culminated in the design and construction of the mine, pipelines, village and infrastructure at Iron Bridge. There are currently 3,470 people working across the Ore Processing Facility and pipelines scope of work.

Forrest said: “At Fortescue, we take pride in the fact that we consistently deliver what we say we will, and Iron Bridge is no different. Building on our track record of safely and successfully developing and operating iron ore projects in the Pilbara, Iron Bridge will lead the way for magnetite operations in Western Australia.

“This project demonstrates Fortescue’s commitment to our strategic pillars of investing in the long-term sustainability of our iron ore business, investing in growth, maintaining balance sheet strength, as well as delivering strong returns to our shareholders.

“As we transition to a global green energy, technology and resources company, Iron Bridge is an obvious choice to be considered as one of our first decarbonised, fossil fuel free sites, as we deliver on our target to achieve real zero Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030.”

Otranto said: “The Iron Bridge high grade magnetite product is a significant differentiator for Fortescue, and led by the highly experienced project team, I am incredibly pleased with the significant progress made to achieve first ore feed into the processing plant.

“This is a project that has been delivered during a challenging environment, and despite a global pandemic, rising inflationary pressures and a tight labour market, the Fortescue Values have risen to the forefront and demonstrated our ability to continue delivering this ground-breaking project.”

The nature of the Iron Bridge orebodies and Fortescue’s use of a dry crushing and grinding circuit together contribute to the project’s operational efficiency across energy, water use and cost.

Low cost power will be delivered to Iron Bridge through Fortescue’s investment in the Pilbara Energy Connect project, which includes energy transmission line infrastructure, solar gas hybrid generation and associated battery storage solution.

The Iron Bridge Magnetite project is an unincorporated joint venture between FMG Magnetite Pty Ltd (69%), and Formosa Steel IB Pty Ltd (31%). The joint venture partners are each responsible for their equity share of the total capital expenditure.

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 fast-tracks carbon neutrality aim, sets plan to trial hydrogen-powered drills

Fortescue Metals Group is accelerating its carbon neutrality efforts, with the iron ore miner now expecting to achieve this ‘green’ milestone by 2030, 10 years earlier than its previous target.

Fortescue Future Industries (FFI), a wholly owned subsidiary of Fortescue, will be a key enabler of this target through the development of green electricity, green hydrogen and green ammonia projects in Australia, however, the company has also identified battery-electric technology as a potential diesel alternative game changer.

Dr Andrew Forrest, Chairman of Fortescue Metals Group, said: “We have joined the global battle to defeat climate change. We are trialling and demonstrating green hydrogen technologies in global-scale commercial environments, while also rapidly evolving into a green hydrogen and electricity producer of similar scale.”

In line with its 2030 aim, Fortescue, through FFI and its operations team, is undertaking to deliver several key projects by the stretch target of June 30, 2021. This, the company says, will underpin its pathway to decarbonisation.

These projects include:

  • Developing a ship design powered by green ammonia and trialling that design in new ammonia engine technology, at scale;
  • Testing large battery technology in its haul trucks – a project the company is pursuing with the help of Williams Advanced Engineering;
  • Trialling hydrogen fuel cell power for its drill rigs;
  • Trialling technology on its locomotives to run on green ammonia; and
  • Conducting trials to use renewable energy in the Pilbara of Western Australia to convert iron ore to “green iron” at low temperatures, without coal.

Fortescue Chief Executive Officer, Elizabeth Gaines, said: “Each of these projects will contribute to the world’s inexorable march to carbon neutrality. Fortescue will establish that the major steel, truck, train, ship and mobile plant industries can be operated with renewable, environmentally friendly energy. This will be possible as a result of these ground-breaking Fortescue trials. Each will be tested by Fortescue using commercial-scale equipment to prove that the demand for direct green electricity, green hydrogen and green ammonia could one day be as large as the fossil fuel industry.”

She added: “These projects are in addition to Fortescue’s significant investment with our partners into energy infrastructure, including the Chichester Solar Gas Hybrid Project and Pilbara Energy Connect program.”

Forrest said the company’s commitment to demonstrate green hydrogen’s economic value in world-scale operations, and become a major energy exporter, means Fortescue will emerge as an “executor” of major green hydrogen projects.

He said the company’s green energy and industry initiatives may one day out-scale its iron ore business due to the global demand for renewable energy, but Fortescue’s commitment to iron ore and resources globally “remains indefeasible”.

Fortescue says it is seeking to move from being a major consumer of fossil fuel with a current trajectory of more than 1 billion litres a year of diesel being used across the operations if no remedial action is taken – to a major clean and renewable energy exporter.

FFI is advancing projects across Australia, including Tasmania, to build large-scale renewable energy and green hydrogen production capacity. This will expedite the substitution of green hydrogen and green ammonia for carbon-based fuels, it says. These projects will, with the support of Australia’s governments, contribute to a significant reduction in national carbon emissions.