Ore Grade Gamble Pays Off For Fortescue Metals Group

Fortescue, famous as the Pilbara’s low-grade iron ore producer that slashed costs to survive when prices plunged, now sees itself as the innovative, nimble player responsive to a changing market.

Fortescue chief executive Elizabeth Gaines said in the past the focus had been how many tonnes Fortescue was going to produce and at what cost.

Ms Gaines said a new high-grade 60.1 per cent iron product, West Pilbara Fines, to be shipped later this month, could attract a premium of $10 a tonne with a negligible effect on costs.

“It’s straight through to the bottom line,” she said.

Fortescue is picking the eyes out of two of its mines to collect high iron ore content for the new product.