Iron ore miner Fortescue Metals Group has a huge quarter ahead of it if it’s going to meet its 2014 production target of 127 million tonnes.
In the first three months of 2014 Fortescue mined 29.6 million tonnes of iron ore, 8 per cent less than the previous quarter. The company said the drop was “largely due to the impact of seasonal wet weather on production and a focus on working capital management”.
Fortescue shipped 31.5 million tonnes in the March quarter, taking total financial year-to-date shipments to 85.4 million tonnes. But to hit its production target the miner will need to ship 41.6 million tonnes of iron ore, a 33 per cent increase from the March quarter, before the financial year is out.
Fortescue said its mining, rail and port operations have the capacity to hit the target if they are run at a “sprint”.
Still, that is a huge effort, quarter-on-quarter the miner managed to increase total ore shipped by 13 per cent. While it was the wet season, when you compare the March quarter to the same period last year Fortescue has managed to increase the total ore shipped 56 per cent – but that is over a year where new operations were coming on line.
Fortescue shares were trading at $5.34 on the ASX a short time ago.