Fortescue hits 1.5 billion tonnes shipped from the Pilbara

By Daniel Brightmore
Fortescue Metals Group celebrates iron ore milestone after 18 years of operations in the Pilbara...

Fortescue Metals Group (Fortescue) has marked a significant milestone for its Pilbara operations, exporting over 1.5 billion tonnes of iron ore since it was first established in 2003. It comes less than three years after the company celebrated shipping its billionth tonne from Herb Elliott Port in Port Hedland.

Fortescue Metals Group

This latest milestone coincided with a visit by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison to Fortescue’s Christmas Creek operations, hosted by Fortescue Founder and Chairman Dr Andrew Forrest AO. 

“From the start, Fortescue’s journey has been to unlock the potential of the Pilbara and build Australia’s economy through the export of iron ore to the developing world,” Dr Forrest said. 

“Today, Fortescue is drawing on the talent and expertise of the entire Fortescue family as we build on our capability as a world class resources company, rapidly evolving into a green hydrogen and energy producer to drive the global transition away from fossil fuels.

“It is with great pride that we welcomed the Prime Minister to our Pilbara operations in his first visit to the Pilbara region of Western Australia to demonstrate how Fortescue is leading the charge to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030, positioning us as a global leader in addressing the climate change challenge.” 

Iron Ore

Fortescue Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Gaines commented: “Since our first shipment in 2008, Fortescue has now exported over 1.5 billion tonnes to our customers in China and other markets. We are proud of our significant contribution to the Western Australian and national economies through jobs, investment and the flow of taxes and royalties. 

“Fortescue Future Industries is driving the transition to green energy, continuing to power the Australian economy and creating jobs for thousands of Australians.

“I would like to thank the entire Fortescue team, including our contractors and suppliers, for their hard work, commitment and contribution to our record performance in the past year and the achievement of this significant milestone,” Ms Gaines said. 

Facts & Figures 

  • Fortescue’s first shipment of iron ore departed Port Hedland in 2008 for Shanghai Baosteel’s Majishan Port 
  • Since the first shipment:
    • Over 46,680 trains have been unloaded at Port Hedland
    • Over 8,110 ships have left Fortescue’s Herb Elliott Port 

Last month, Fortescue - the world's fourth biggest iron ore producer - brought forward its self-imposed net zero deadline by 20 years. As part of that goal, the company is aiming to produce green hydrogen in Brazil. 

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