PRESS RELEASE: A decade ago Fortescue shipped its first 180,000t of iron ore aboard the Capesize vessel Heng Shan from Herb Elliott Port in Port Hedland, Western Australia.
Speaking at the celebration event at Cloudbreak, Fortescue's original mine site, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said Fortescue has changed the face of the Pilbara and the Australian mining industry.
"Fortescue has contributed to the economic strength of our nation, providing employment and training opportunities for thousands of people including indigenous workers, significant contracts that benefit local communities, as well as playing a key role in the Australia-China relationship," the minister said.
Fortescue founder and chairman Andrew Forrest said: "From the first discovery hole drilled at Cloudbreak to now sustaining consistent production at 170 million tonnes per year, Fortescue is truly an Australian success story."
Forrest also acknowledged Fortescue's long-term relationship with its Chinese customers, which has played a critical role in the company's growth.
"We are proud of our contribution to China's remarkable economic development and our role in supporting the important trade relationship between China and Australia, which has been vital to driving economic growth in both nations," he said.