FORTESCUE Metals Group chair Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest says the last twelve months have helped the company facilitate the development of “a vertically integrated supply chain”.

The company has just released its results for the 2020 financial year, with net profit after tax of US$4.7bn and 178.2m tonnes shipped.

“We are now entering a period in which our world is changing at a pace that is unprecedented in global history,” Dr Forrest said.

“Against this backdrop, it is high capital and high yield growth – it is incredibly rare for a company, let alone one operating in the resources sector, to occupy both spaces.”

Dr Andrew Forrest said artificial intelligence, including autonomy, would undoubtedly be one of the greatest industrial revolutions in history.

Chief executive Elizabeth Gaines said Fortescue’s integrated supply chain was unique in the industry and coordinating their planning, operations, shipping and marketing business functions ensures we can capitalise on market dynamics and respond to the needs of our customers.

Credit: FMG and Twitter

“In 2019, we established FMG Trading Shanghai to support our customers through direct supply from regional Chinese ports, providing them with an option to purchase smaller volumes in renminbi,” she said.

“Fortescue, together with our industry peers, was in a privileged position to continue to operate during the peak of COVID-19 restrictions.

“There was no impact on our shipping schedule to China, demonstrating to our customers that we are a reliable and secure supplier of iron ore.”

Ms Gaines said the iron ore price held up strongly through this period, with ongoing demand for iron ore evidenced by record production of crude steel in China, which reached 499mt for the six months to June 2020.

“We anticipate continued recovery in China’s economic activity and remain confident in the Chinese government’s commitment to urbanisation, which will continue to underpin long-term demand for iron ore,” she said.

“As home to three of the four largest iron ore producers in the world, Western Australia is well positioned to support China’s ongoing growth.”

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