Fortescue Quarterly Iron-ore Shipments, Costs Fall

By FeaturesDow Jones Newswires

Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. (FMG.AU) said it shipped less iron ore last quarter, while output costs also edged to a new low.

The world's No. 4 iron-ore exporter said it shipped 40.5 million metric tons of the steelmaking commodity in the three months through December, down 8% on-quarter and 4% on-year. Still, that is in line with its goal to ship ore at an annual rate of 170 million tons, the company said.

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Cash production costs were down 1% on-quarter, and 4% on-year, to a new low of US$12.08 a wet metric ton, aided by productivity initiatives, it said.

Fortescue on Tuesday reported net debt of US$3.3 billion and gross debt of US$4.2 billion, down from US$4.4 billion a quarter ago.

The company borrowed heavily to build a network of mines, rail lines and port infrastructure in Australia's remote Pilbara region in a decadelong quest to break the dominance of Australian rivals Rio Tinto PLC and BHP Billiton Ltd. and Brazil's Vale SA. The company has pushed to repay debt since 2012, when a slide in iron-ore prices forced it into emergency talks with lenders.

Write to Rhiannon Hoyle at rhiannon.hoyle@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 29, 2018 18:02 ET (23:02 GMT)

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