PERTH (miningwekly.com) – Iron-ore major Fortescue Metals has reported a record first quarter of iron-ore shipments during the three months to September.
Iron-ore shipments in the first quarter reached 44.3-million tonnes, up 5% on the previous corresponding period, while C1 costs declined by 2% in the same period to $12.74/t.
“Fortescue has delivered a strong start to the 2021 financial year across all key measures of safety, production and costs,” said CEO Elizabeth Gaines on Thursday.
She noted that the ongoing demand for the company’s product delivered average revenue of $106/t in the first quarter, which was 89% above the average Platts 62% CFR Index.
Strong free cashflow generation contributed to net cash of $1-billion at the end of the September quarter, compared with net cash of $0.3-billion at the end of the June quarter.
“Robust demand from our customers contributed to an increase in revenue realization, 31% higher than the June quarter and above the 27% increase in the average Platts 62% CFR Index. We have successfully grown and diversified our distribution channels, with portside sales in China by FMG Trading Shanghai now exceeding 10-million tonnes since sales started in June 2019,” Gaines said.
Fortescue’s major projects continued unabated during the quarter under review, with both the Eliwana mine and rail project, and the Iron Bridge magnetite mine remaining on schedule.
“Our Covid-19 risk management strategy and key measures remain in place to safeguard our team and operations and we continue to generate a strong economic contribution to the West Australian and national economy.
“Against a backdrop of a strong performance for the first quarter, we are well positioned to meet our guidance, execute our growth strategy and deliver returns to shareholders,” Gaines said.
Iron-ore shipments for the full year are expected to reach between 175-million and 180-million tonnes, with C1 cash costs expected at between $13/t and $13.50/t.