Thursday 28th May, 2020

Fortescue gets green light for Queens Valley mine development

Autonomous truck at Fortescue site. Image: Fortescue Metals Group
Autonomous truck at Fortescue site. Image: Fortescue Metals Group

Operations are set to start at Fortescue’s Queens Valley development, which has received all necessary environmental and heritage approvals.

The Queens Valley development holds and estimated value of around $416.9 million and will be used to produce low-alumina King Fines iron ore.

Located around 15 kilometres from the company’s Kings ore processing facility, the company aims to launch operations at Queens Valley in the 2022 financial year with an estimated mine life of 10 to 15 years.

It is part of Fortescue’s strategy to achieve higher margins through the optimisation of product mixes for its Asian customers.

The company achieved a record low direct cost of $US12.36 per wet metric tonne in 2018, a price it continues to maintain in the 2019 financial year.

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The project will include the construction of a hydraulic barrier wall and relocation of Solomon’s mobile maintenance facilities to maximise efficiencies.

Fortecue’s speciality at Solomon Hub (which has a production capacity of 70 million tonnes a year) is the blending of higher grade, low-cost Firetail ore with low phosphorous Chichester ore to create a distinct product.

“Fortescue’s integrated operations and marketing strategy defines a product portfolio that maximises value from the Fortescue orebodies over the long term, ensuring the continued delivery of returns to shareholders,” said Fortescue Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Gaines.

“The Queens mining area development will maintain our highly valued Kings Fines low-alumina sinter fines product which supplies Fortescue’s key customers in China as well as in Japan and Korea.”