FMG FOOS celebration

BARELY a fortnight ago Fortescue Metals Group celebrated its 1 billionth tonne of iron ore. Yesterday it marked the 10 years since first ore on ship milestone.

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Andrew Forrest on the first train loaded with FMG iron ore.

The story actually goes back 15 years to 2003 when Andrew Forrest, battered by being forced out of Anaconda Nickel, sat down at his kitchen table and started to outline plans for what would ultimately become FMG.

Initially he set out to create a 50 million tonne per annum iron ore operation.

To do that the company had to develop rail and port infrastructure because that is just how things are done in the Pilbara. Efforts to make use of nearby rail lines owned by other iron ore miners were rebuffed.

Forrest also had to endure scepticism from the market. The scars of his dumping from Anaconda were still pretty raw. Few believed he would be able to pull off the feat.

However, as the years rolled on the signs that Forrest would pull it off started to build...