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Fortescue Metals Sees Decline in Iron Ore Shipments Due to Bad Weather

Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) was affected by the recent bad weather in Australia as heavy rains saw it shipping 11.5 % less iron ore in the March quarter this year as compared to the previous year.

The 8.37 million tonnes of iron ore in the March quarter in 2011 was less than the 9.45 million tonnes that they shipped in 2010 and the 9.93 million tonnes that was shipped out in the previous December quarter.

Despite the rains affecting the mining operations Fortescue Metals Group is confident that the June quarter will hit the 12 million tonnes record for shipping. This will be accomplished by the completion of its Christmas Creek processing facility in Western Australia. They are targeting a 55 million tonne full year production for Christmas Creek.

The chief financial officer Stephen Pearce said that the iron ore prices were still string in contrast to the predictions from various analysts who said that the prices would go down. He said that they were enjoying a higher iron ore price even though they were in a little bit of pain in their operating costs.

There is a chance that the company would consider a float or partial sale of its magnetite assets in Western Australia to combat the combined effects of the strong Australian dollar and the bad weather. This will help pay for the $8.4 billion expansion planned at its Pilbara iron ore operations.

Joel Scanlon

Written by

Joel Scanlon

Joel emigrated to Australia in 1995 and worked for five years in the mining industry as an exploration geotechnician, using GIS mapping and CAD software. Upon moving to the North Coast of NSW, Australia Joel worked as a graphic designer for a leading consultancy firm. After that, he ran a successful business providing web services to businesses along the eastern seaboard of Australia. During this time, he developed and launched News-Medical.Net. Joel has been working with AZoNetwork since the company was founded in 2000.

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