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Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG) - CEO, Elizabeth Gaines - The Market Herald
CEO, Elizabeth Gaines
Source: Fortescue Metals Group
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  • Fortescue Metals (FMG) has set the stage for a record year of iron ore shipments, thanks in part to the commissioning of its Eliwana mine in December
  • Exports for the third quarter of the 2021 financial year came to 42.3 million tonnes — in line with the same period last year but marginally less than the second quarter of 2021
  • The company attributed the quarter-on-quarter drop in exports to heavy rainfall across its Pilbara operations
  • Year-to-date shipments for 2021 currently stand at 132.9 million tonnes
  • The company has revised its its capital expenditure plans to between US$3.5 billion (roughly A$4.48 billion) and US$3.7 billion (roughly A$4.74 billion)
  • As of March 31, Fortescue had a cash balance of US$3.6 billion (roughly A$4.61 billion) compared to US$4 billion (roughly A$5.12 billion) at the end of December
  • Shares in Fortescue Metals finished trading yesterday at $22.62 each

Fortescue Metals (FMG) has set the stage for a record year of iron ore shipments, thanks in part to the commissioning of its Eliwana mine in December.

The mining giant's total exports for the third quarter of the 2021 financial year came to 42.3 million tonnes. The performance is in line with a previous third-quarter record set last year, but marginally less than the 46.4 million tonnes shipped in the second quarter of 2021 due to significant rainfall across its Pilbara operations.

Fortescue reported record overall shipments last year of 178.2 million tonnes — six per cent higher than that of the 2019 financial year. Year-to-date shipments for 2021 currently stand at 132.9 million tonnes.

Less positive was a "potential heritage non-compliance" at the Solomon Queens Valley Hydraulic Barrier Wall Project in the Pilbara.

Citing "an administrative error," Fortescue said representatives of the Wintawari Guruma Aboriginal Corporation (WGAC) were not offered the opportunity to monitor the topsoil clearing and to undertake a cultural salvage at the site.

All work was paused while Fortescue undertook an investigation and — with the agreement of WGAC — operations are expected to resume shortly with two Eastern Guruma representatives present to monitor the activity.

The biggest news, however, came in mid-March with the announcement that Fortescue was aiming to become carbon neutral by 2030.

The company said its wholly owned subsidiary, Fortescue Future Industries (FFI), will be a key enabler of the targets by developing green electricity, green hydrogen and green ammonia projects in Australia.

"We have set out clear priorities for our pathway to decarbonisation, including the establishment of a green mining fleet through the development and assessment of hydrogen and battery electric solutions," chief executive Elizabeth Gaines said in a statement this morning.

"Fortescue Future Industries continues to assess a range of renewable energy and green hydrogen opportunities and is advancing projects internationally and across Australia."

As part of that push, Fortescue has bolstered its capital expenditure plans to between US$3.5 billion (roughly A$4.48 billion) and US$3.7 billion (roughly A$4.74 billion) — a marked increase compared to a previous plan of between $US3 billion (roughly A$3.84 billion) and $US3.4 billion (roughly A$4.36 billion) that. was announced in February.

In addition to the decarbonisation projects, Fortescue said the revised figures were also due to the ongoing strength of the Australian dollar and continued work at Iron Bridge.

"Against the backdrop of the record performance in our iron ore business and our clean energy focus, Fortescue is well-placed to finish the financial year strongly, as we continue to meet demand from our customers and deliver value for all stakeholders," Gaines added.

As of March 31, Fortescue had a cash balance of US$3.6 billion (roughly A$4.61 billion) compared to US$4 billion (roughly A$5.12 billion) at the end of December.

Shares in Fortescue Metals finished trading yesterday at $22.62 each.

FMG by the numbers
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