Fortescue Metals Group Ltd has achieved a significant milestone in the development of its iron ore operations in the Pilbara, celebrating first ore through the ore processing facility at the Eliwana mine and rail project in the Western Hub. Fortescue Chief Executive Officer Ms Elizabeth Gaines said “Eliwana is the next important stage of development of Fortescue's world-class, integrated operations. Exploration commenced in this area in 2006, and we have now delivered a new 30 million tonne per annum dry ore processing facility and infrastructure, along with 143 kilometres of rail which is in the final stages of construction. Eliwana will see us maintain our low-cost status and provide us with greater flexibility across our product mix. Construction of the mine, village and infrastructure was completed safely over a 12-month period, in line with budget and schedule.”
Fortescue has awarded contracts valued at over AUD 150 million to Aboriginal businesses and their joint venture partners for the Eliwana project. These form an important part of Fortescue's Billion Opportunities program to provide employment and business opportunities for the Aboriginal community. These contracts include PKKP owned businesses Jilpanti Enterprises and Australian Indigenous Enterprises, to provide early civils and earthworks. Additionally, PKKP Enterprises, 100% owned by PKKP Aboriginal Corporation, were awarded the village services, hospitality and technical services contract with their joint venture partner Action Catering; and Mallard Deemey, a 100 per cent Aboriginal-owned business was contracted for the non-processing infrastructure development including Eliwana’s administration offices and building services.