FORTESCUE Metals Group has shipped the first magnetite from its $5.89-billion Iron Bridge project from Port Hedland.

The shipment of high-grade iron ore to Vietnam follows first production earlier this year.

Iron Bridge is the first time the company has produced a wet concentrate product, which is transported to Port Hedland through a 135 kilometre specialist slurry pipeline where dewatering and materials handling occurs to create a high grade magnetite product.

Fortescue Metals chief executive officer Fiona Hick joined Nyamal Traditional Custodians and representatives from Fortescue’s Iron Bridge Joint Venture partner, Formosa, in Port Hedland as the first shipment was loaded.

“Today is a truly special day for Fortescue. Last week we celebrated 20 years since Fortescue was founded, and today, we celebrate our first shipment of high-grade magnetite product from our most complex and innovative project yet,” Ms Hick said.

“High grade magnetite product will play an important role in lowering emissions in the steel industry, and Fortescue is moving at pace to ensure we are at the forefront of developing green steel technologies.”

Iron Bridge is a joint venture between FMG Magnetite (69%) and Formosa Steel (31%).