PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Iron-ore major Fortescue Metals on Thursday marked a major milestone with the completion of its fleet of tugs and its towage infrastructure at the Herb Elliott port, in Port Hedland.
Tug operations from the port are expected to start next month.
“As Australia’s economic and industrial gateway to Asia, the Port of Port Hedland is the largest bulk export port in the world. It is an economic powerhouse of our country generating countless jobs and businesses directly across the nation and supporting the standard of living for us all,” said Fortescue founder and chairperson Andrew Forrest.
“Since Fortescue was founded we have set ourselves the toughest stretch targets we could. We aimed to develop the world’s most advanced vertically integrated bulk operations infrastructure, and to seamlessly link this with our core exploration, metallurgical and mining operations.
“Our aim was to develop an integrated world-leading system to deliver critical ores that would build the economies of nations. The strategic decision made by the board to build our fleet of ore carriers and Fortescue-owned and -operated towage capability mark the critical completion of this part of Fortescue’s journey.”
The miner has procured and constructed six tugs and leased a further three. The tugs will be based at the new nine-berth tug and harbor facility, located in the vicinity of Fortescue’s berths one to three at Anderson Point.
The harbour facility has been dubbed Judith Street Harbour, after Forrest’s mother.