Heads roll at Fortescue

16th February 2021 By: Esmarie Iannucci - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Australasia

PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Iron-ore major Fortescue Metals has reported the immediate resignation of COO Greg Lilleyman as the company battles to contain costs at its Iron Bridge operation, in the Pilbara.

Fortescue earlier confirmed that it was "reviewing" the cost and schedule of its $2.6-billion Iron Bridge magnetite project.

“At Fortescue, our commitment to our values and culture is our highest priority. What we’ve learned through our review of the Iron Bridge project to date, is that we have lost sight of that critical focus,” said Fortescue CEO Elizabeth Gaines on Tuesday.

“Since Fortescue was established, our values, above all else, have driven our behaviours and our decisions. These values were allowed to slip inside the Iron Bridge team.”

In addition to Lilleyman, director of projects Don Hyma, and director of Iron Bridge, Mani McDonald have also resigned from the business.

The GM of Solomon, Derek Brown, has been appointed as acting director of projects, with support from the company’s senior projects team.

Meanwhile, Gaines said that both she, and CFO Ian Wells, would be foregoing all incentive payments during this financial year, as they took "accountability" for the issues at Iron Bridge.

“We take this opportunity to reset the company’s focus on our culture and values which defines us and makes Fortescue a truly great company. We have a huge depth of talented individuals with Fortescue DNA across the business who will all contribute as we continue our industry leading operational performance.” 

The Iron Bridge mine is being developed into a 22-million-tonne-a-year operation, producing high-grade magnetite concentrate. First ore delivery is expected in the first half of 2022, with the ramp-up to full production taking place over 12 months.