Fortescue is having another go at refinancing debt via a $US1.5 billion bond offer

Andrew Forest at the recent opening of one of Fortescue’s iron ore projects in WA. Image: Supplied.

Fortescue Metals is again going to the corporate bond market to raise funds to refinance its debt.

Last month the pure play iron ore miner withdrew plans to raise $US2.5 billion ($AU3.28 billion) in secured notes after weak interest from investors in the US.

The market was worried about the risks of iron ore with China’s economy slowing. This pushed the yields up from about 7% to 8.5%.

The new plan is for $US1.5 billion ($AU1.9 billion) in senior secured notes which would be used to pay down debts due in 2017 and 2018.

Fortescue is under pressure from steeply lower prices for iron ore, down about 60% over 12 months. It says its break even price is $US39 a tonne and prices are hovering around $54, down from a high of $118.

The company has complained that bigger players, such as BHP and Rio Tinto, are flooding the market with ore at a time when China, Australia’s biggest market, is cutting steel production.

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