FMG 4.51% $17.37 fortescue metals group ltd

fortescue to upgrade its processing facility

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    Fortescue to upgrade its processing facility a fortnight early


    FORTESCUE Metals Group has brought forward the optimisation of its Pilbara port and mine processing facilities by a fortnight, with shutdown to take place 17 November 2008.
    According to the company, the optimisation upgrade will allow the plant to produce iron ore fines more quickly.
    The company says it is ramping up its production of iron ore fines because of rising Chinese demand for that particular form eclipsing the demand for the lump form.
    Chinese steel mills are being geared for fines over lump iron ore, because most of the easily accessible lump material has been mined.
    Advice received by the company indicated a possible resurgence in demand for steel-related raw materials in the second quarter of 2009. The facility upgrade is being timed to coincide with this expected improve in demand.
    Fortescue had originally delayed its upgrade plan, which would have seen the annual output of the facility expanded to 80m tonnes in 2009. The optimisation program will now give a capacity of 55m tonnes per annum, effective middle of 2009 calendar year.
 
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