By David Winning
SYDNEY--Fortescue Metals Ltd. beat guidance for annual iron-ore shipments and forecast another strong year, even as costs creep up and it spends more on growth projects including the Eliwana Mine and Rail Project.
Fortescue said it shipped a record 178.2 million metric tons of iron ore in the 12 months through June, including 47.3 million tons in the most recently completed quarter. That was above the top end of recently revised guidance of 177.0 million tons and 6% more than a year ago.
In the current year, Fortescue said it expects to ship between 175 million tons and 180 million tons of iron ore. C1 cash costs are forecast in a range of US$13.00-US$13.50 per wet metric ton, which would be higher than the average of US$12.94/ton in fiscal 2020.
"This was an outstanding performance which underpinned the operational excellence we delivered in fiscal 2020, particularly during a quarter when we implemented a range of measures in response to Covid-19," said Chief Executive Elizabeth Gaines.
Fortescue said it expects capital spending of US$3.0 billion-US$3.4 billion this year, with more investment in the Eliwana Mine and Rail Project than originally envisaged. The Perth-based company now intends to spend US$1.325 billion-US$1.375 billion in that project, up from a prior projection of US$1.275 billion.
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