PREMIER of Western Australia Mark McGowan has joined Fortescue Metals Group founder and chairman Andrew Forrest and chief executive Elizabeth Gaines for the official sod turning of the Eliwana Mine and Rail Project in the Pilbara.

The US$1.275bn project includes the construction of 143km of rail, a new 30m tonnes per annum dry ore processing facility and infrastructure.

The first ore on train is expected in December 2020.

The development is expected to use the latest technology, autonomous trucks and design efficiency.

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“This is a proud day for Fortescue as we celebrate the largest project since the Kings Valley mine in 2014,” Mr Forrest said.

“Since Fortescue was founded 16 years ago, we have held community and family at our core and continued to deliver on our commitment to be the safest, lowest cost company.

Premier Mark McGowan congratulated FMG on the project.

“The project will also deliver a significant boost to the State’s economy, and Fortescue’s investment is another sign that confidence is returning to Western Australia,” Mr McGowan said.

Ms Gaines said the Eliwana Project would build on Fortescue’s record and capability in safely developing and operating major iron ore projects in the Pilbara.

“Eliwana is core to the next phase of development in Fortescue’s world class, innovative operations,” she said.

“We are excited to work with the community to deliver this Project and I would like to thank the state government, community leaders and traditional custodians for their support.”

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