Fortescue Metals Group has turned the first sod at its $1.275bn Eliwana iron ore mine and rail project in the Pilbara, Western Australia. The project includes the construction of 143km of rail, a new 30mtpa dry ore processing facility and infrastructure. First ore on train is expected in December 2020.
Eliwana underpins the sustainable production of West Pilbara Fines and provides the flexibility for Fortescue to deliver products at greater than 60% iron grade. The development will utilise the latest technology, autonomous trucks and design efficiency, further cementing Fortescue’s world leading use of innovation across its mining operations.
Founder & Chairman Andrew Forrest commented:“This is a proud day for Fortescue as we celebrate the largest project since the Kings Valley mine in 2014.
“Since Fortescue was founded 16 years ago, we have held community and family at our core and continued to deliver on our commitment to be the safest, lowest cost company. Eliwana is the next great step into the Western Hub, enhancing our profitability and extending our mine life.
“As always, we are committed to ensuring communities benefit from our growth and development and Eliwana continues our significant contribution to the great state of Western Australia. The Project will generate up to 1,900 jobs during construction and 500 full-time site positions once operational.”
Fortescue’s CEO Elisabeth Gaines added: “The Eliwana Project will build on Fortescue’s unparalleled track record and capability in safely developing and operating major iron ore projects in the Pilbara.
“Eliwana is core to the next phase of development in Fortescue’s world class, innovative operations. The project will see us maintain our low-cost status, provide us with greater flexibility to deliver on our integrated operations and marketing strategy and, when combined with the Iron Bridge Magnetite development, it will increase Fortescue’s average product grade and provide the ability to deliver the majority of our products at greater than 60% Fe, consistent with our long-term goal.”