Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. officials have announced the issuance of two redemptions totaling $1.6 billion toward a debt reduction allowing for expansion of 155 million metric tons per year (mt/y) of iron ore. The unsecured tranches, to be issued this quarter, will bring gross debt to $9.6 billion.

Fortescue CEO Nev Power said the moves underscore a deep commitment to growth. “This is a pivotal year for Fortescue,” he said. “The increase in production and strong market conditions has strengthened our balance sheet.”

The report comes on the heels of Fortescue’s debt repayment of $1 billion since November. At its peak, according to Fortescue officials, gross debt was $12.7 billion. Net debt, meanwhile, will stand at $7.8 billion by the end of March 2014.

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