Fortescue loads iron ore shipment
Fortescue Metals Group Ltd, which described itself as "the new force in iron ore", began loading its first commercial shipment on Thursday.
Western Australian Premier Alan Carpenter attended a ceremony at Port Hedland to mark the occasion, saying the positive outcomes of the project, which includes a mammoth infrastructure component, for the state were immense.
"This project marks some impressive firsts for the state - the first time a third party railway has been included in a Pilbara iron ore project and the first time in WA that port facilities will be run under a third party access regime," Mr Carpenter said.
"It is also the first time that surface mining technology has been used in the North-West industry, enabling efficient extraction and blending of the ore."
The three-and-a-half year project was delivered on time and cost about $4 billion, after taking into account financing costs, debt servicing requirements and pre-commitment expenditure.
Shares in Fortescue were 33 cents, or 3.53 per cent, higher at $9.68 at 1229 AEST.