THE boss of Australia’s third largest iron ore miner says the resources boom will continue and comments from the federal resources minister may have been misplaced.
Fortescue Metals Group (Australia’s third largest iron ore miner) chief executive Nev Power has been quoted as saying “the boom was not over, due to the growing amount of resource exports on their way to Asia”.
“What we`ve seen in Australia over the last three to four years is export volumes expanding from Australia, especially in the Pilbara to meet the burgeoning demand out of China and Asia,” Mr Power said.
“It’s continuing and the volumes will continue into the future and bring enormous benefit to the whole of the Australian economy.”ť
Resources Minister Martin Ferguson today said the mining resources boom is over, however that statement is being challenged by the Labor party.
Mr Power said the recent focus in the media of the end of the mining boom was perhaps due to falls in commodity prices.
Recently the price of iron ore has fallen to $US131 per tonne for the 2012 financial year, down from $US149 a year ago and had fallen further ““ to around $US105 a tonne. Fortescue expects the price of iron ore to return to the $US120-150 a tonne range in the short to medium-term as the stockpiles in countries like China diminish.
Despite the negative press, Fortescue reported a 53 per cent surge in net profit to a record $US1.56 billion ($A1.49 billion), driven by a record amount of iron ore shipments that had jumped 41 per cent to 55.8 million tonnes.
The Pilbara miner is ramping up its expansion plans in order to achieve a maximum export capacity of 155 million tonnes annually by June 30 2012.
Christmas Creek operation to hit the 95 million tonne mark
Fortescue`s Christmas Creek operation will hit the 95 million tonne per annum mark in the December quarter of 2012, while the company`s Solomon operation will kick in around the same time.
In the short-term, the race is on to continue to work on several exploration projects and get them to a “push-button ready” state. This gears everything up to allow operations to approved when markets stabilised and debt levels were more manageable.
Mining ‘boom’ not over says Fortescue