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Fortescue Metals to boost shipments after securing port space for Iron Bridge

Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. is poised to boost annual shipments by 22 million tonnes by 2022 after finding space at Port Hedland for its Iron Bridge magnetite project in Western Australia, The Australian Financial Review reported Aug. 6.

Fortescue's FMG Magnetite Pty. Ltd. and joint venture partner Formosa Plastics Corp. unit Formosa Steel IB Pty. Ltd. recently approved the US$2.6 billion stage-two development of the project, which will have a full annual capacity of 22 million wet tonnes of 67% iron ore over a 20-year mine life. Delivery of first ore is scheduled for the first half of 2022.

Fortescue CEO Elizabeth Gaines said that to ship Iron Bridge's output from Port Hedland, the company will use existing infrastructure and build a shed port side to dewater and store magnetite sent through a pipeline from the property.

The addition of magnetite will see Fortescue's Port Hedland exports total about 200,000 tonnes per year, according to the report.

Gaines also said Iron Bridge is supported by the Western Australian government, while there had been no progress on the issue of a royalties discount. BHP Group's previous plans to export 290 million tonnes per year from Port Hedland were opposed by local communities concerned about dust pollution.