Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) said its track record of delivering complex projects continues, while marking first ore feed into the processing plant at its Iron Bridge Magnetite project in Australia’s Pilbara iron ore mining district. With first production anticipated in Q1 2023, Iron Bridge will see the world’s fourth largest iron ore miner deliver an enhanced product range and create 900 new jobs. Significantly, it could become one of Fortescue’s first fossil fuel free sites, enabled by the recently announced $6.2 billion decarbonization investment to reach Real Zero Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030.

At a milestone event held at Iron Bridge, Fortescue’s Executive Chairman Dr. Andrew Forrest was joined by Iron Ore COO, Dino Otranto, Fortescue Board members Elizabeth Gaines and Penny Bingham-Hall, representatives from joint venture partner Formosa, West Australian Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development Roger Cook, along with company executives, valued partners and suppliers.

Traditional Custodians also attended the milestone event to welcome over 100 guests to Nyamal country.

Iron Bridge, located 145 km south of Port Hedland, will deliver 22 million metric tons per year (mt/y) of high-grade 67% Fe magnetite concentrate. This product enables Fortescue to enter the high iron ore grade market segment providing an enhanced product range while also increasing annual production and shipping capacity.

“As we transition to a global green energy, technology and resources company, Iron Bridge is an obvious choice to be considered as one of our first decarbonized, fossil-fuel-free sites, as we deliver on our target to achieve Real Zero Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030,” Forrest said.

The nature of the Iron Bridge ore bodies and Fortescue’s innovative use of a dry crushing and grinding circuit together contribute to the project’s operational efficiency across energy, water use and cost. Low-cost power will be delivered to Iron Bridge through Fortescue’s investment in the Pilbara Energy Connect project, which includes energy transmission line infrastructure, solar gas hybrid generation and associated battery storage solution.