FMG cuts into coal

ANDREW Forrest’s Fortescue Metals Group will diversify into coal exploration as it seeks to further feed the burgeoning Chinese steel industry.
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FMG's Andrew Forrest at the Cloudbreak operation in the Pilbara.

Lou Caruana

The company is now recruiting a specialist coal geologist to scour for coal opportunities around the world, including the company’s tenements on the west coast of New Zealand.

In an advertisement on ILN, Fortescue calls for “an entrepreneurial, globally experienced, technically and commercially savvy project generation geological mastermind”

“With its highly successful iron ore operations in the Pilbara and the massive Solomon mining hub well advanced, Fortescue is aiming to significantly increase its market cap in this targeted expansion and diversification phase in the steel industry. Coal is a commodity where the sights are set and the globe is the target,” the company said in the advertisement.

FMG does not have any coal projects or tenements in Australia but is preparing to “run the ruler over opportunities” both in Australia and overseas, a spokesperson for the company said.

“We are at the very early stage of exploring possibilities in the coal sector,” he said.

“We are seeking expressions of interest from qualified coal geologists to explore these opportunities.

“We are still intent on iron ore but are exploring opportunities in coal.”

FMG has interests on the west coast of New Zealand where it is looking at early stage bulk commodity projects which may include coal.

The advertisement by FMG recruiters specifies that it is seeking a geologist who can set serious sights on global coal and identify target provinces or regions, secure significant tenement holdings similar to the massive tenement holdings the company has in the Pilbara, generate commercially sound prospects from exploration to project investment and lead exploration of projects developed.

FMG is the largest tenement holder in the Pilbara region of Western Australia with more than 4.5 billion tonnes of JORC resources and 1.1Bt of JORC reserves.