Fortescue Metals Group (ASX: FMG), the world’s no. 4 iron ore miner, said on Tuesday that first shipment from its Belinga project in the Atlantic African country of Gabon, will happen before year-end.
"Early stages of exploration indicate multi-billion tonne potential and high grades," the company said in a presentation.
Ore from Belinga will be trucked and railed over existing infrastructure and then shipped from the Owendo Mineral Port, near Libreville.
The agreement with Gabon was part of the miner’s ongoing search for high-grade deposits that it can mix with its current output to bring it closer in grade to that of rivals Rio Tinto, BHP and Vale.
Fortescue in May achieved first production at its own high-grade iron ore project in Pilbara, Western Australia. The US$3.9 billion Iron Bridge magnetite operation will produce 22 million tonnes per annum of high-grade magnetite concentrate, suitable for steel making.
The use of magnetite in steelmaking makes the end product have a lower overall carbon emissions than alternatives.
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