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Limited project works on critical path items will occur over the next three months on Fortescue Metals Group’s Iron Bridge Magnetite Project in Western Australia due to a technical and commercial assessment being undertaken following the completion of a detailed review of the project which outlined a revised preliminary capital estimate.

The review considered the forecast capital estimate and schedule for the project, taking into account the strength of the Australian dollar, access to resources and specialist skills, as well as other market factors.

The review indicated a revised preliminary capital estimate of up to US$3.0 billion with first production expected in the second half of calendar year 2022, subject to validation through further technical and commercial assessment and Iron Bridge Joint Venture approval.

The technical and commercial assessment is underway and is scheduled to be completed in 12 weeks.

Key areas of focus include:

  • Assessment of the magnetite concentrate transportation solution and return water pipelines to Port Hedland
  • Enhanced utilisation of Fortescue’s port and rail infrastructure
  • Contractor strategy and selection
  • Logistics infrastructure to maintain the schedule for the delivery of large modular components through Port Hedland

Limited project works on critical path items will continue during the next 12 weeks, including engineering, off site fabrication, procurement activities and site based civil works.

As at 31 January 2021, the Joint Venture has incurred capital expenditure of approximately US$1.1 billion since the Stage 2 investment decision in April 2019. Fortescue’s share of Stage 2 investment is approximately US$750 million. Fortescue has also contributed US$274 million of deferred Joint Venture contributions relating to Stage 1 of the project.

The Iron Bridge Project is an unincorporated joint venture between FMG Iron Bridge, via subsidiary FMG Magnetite (69 per cent), and Formosa Steel IB (31 per cent). FMG Iron Bridge is jointly owned by Fortescue (88 per cent) and Baosteel Resources International Company Limited (12 per cent).

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