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In August 2013 Fortescue Metals announced that its North Star Hematite Project, 100 kilometres south of Port Hedland in Western Australia's Pilbara Region, would be going ahead as previously planned, with the assistance of Taiwan based Formosa Plastics Group. Formosa Plastics has entered into a joint venture arrangement with Fortescue Metals Group and China based Baosteel (Baoshan Iron and Steel) to develop the project that is expected to produce 15 million tonnes of iron ore a year for the next 45 years. Formosa Plastics, a Taiwanese industrial giant, is building a steel mill in Vietnam and has joined the joint venture partners to secure iron ore supplies from 2015 onward.

The North Star Hematite Project Covers two Iron Ore Deposits
The North Star Hematite Project takes in the Glacier Valley and North Star iron ore deposits as well as the South Star and West Star exploration projects. The projects indicated and inferred iron ore resource currently stands a 5.2 billion tonnes grading at 30.4 percent iron.

Stage One of the North Star Hematite Project to Take 12 Months to Complete
Construction of stage one of the North Star Hematite Project has been estimated to take about 12 months to complete with the mine producing 1.5 million tonnes of iron ore a year from early 2015. The Formosa Plastics Group has agreed to purchase up to three million tonnes of iron ore from the project at market price as soon as the mine is commissioned.

North Star Hematite Retains its Magnetic Properties
The ore to be mined from the North Star Hematite Project is known as hematite but it retains its magnetic properties. This quality facilitates it being separated magnetically which allows the extraction of a higher iron ore content than would otherwise be the case. A second project that is also in the planning stage and awaiting joint venture approval could produce a further 9.5 million tonnes of iron ore a year. Construction on this project is expected to commence in 2015.

North Star Hematite Project to Develop two Deposits
The North Star Hematite Project is actually the development of two iron ore deposits, the larger deposit named North Star is a large magnetite ore body with a small hematite body on top. The second deposit is the Glacier Valley ore body that is 100 percent magnetite. Magnetite has taken a back seat to hematite during the recent iron ore boom because magnetite requires processing to have it reach useable grades. However, processed magnetite can demand a higher price than the more common hematite iron ore but this is often offset because of the extra processing required to concentrate it.

North Star Hematite Project has Strong Joint Venture Partners
Formosa Plastics Group is Taiwan's largest private company, the steel mill it is building in Vietnam could become the biggest single site steel producing mill in the world, with a production rate forecast to be 22 million tonnes a year. Baosteel is a giant steel making company in China. Fortescue Metals began construction on its initial iron ore project in 2006. Two years later, in 2008, the port infrastructure and railway were completed and the Cloudbreak mine began production. Twenty seven million tonnes of iron ore was sold to China by Fortescue in its first year of operation. For the financial 2011/ 2012 over 55 million tonnes was exported. Current plans are afoot to have this increased to 155 million tonnes a year.

Fortescue Metals Group

Fortescue Metals Group is the fourth largest iron ore producer in the world. The company was first created in 2003 with the first ore shipped in may 2008.Operations with the company exist in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.


Fortescue Metals Group
Level 2, 87 Adelaide Terrace
East Perth, WA 6004


Phone08 6218 8888
fax08 6218 8880

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