AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Junior iron ore aspirant still bulking up despite delays

<p>Fortescue Metals Group may not have mined, let alone shipped, any iron ore from its Pilbara prospects but shares in the aspiring company continue to boom. </p> <p>FMG shares hit a record high of $32.74 on the Australian Stock Exchange this morning (Wednesday, May 16) after a flurry of activity that began at the start of May.</p> <p>The value of FMG shares grew by 10% to $32.38 on Monday after closing on Friday at $29.22, and having surged by one-third since the end of April.</p> <p>This week’s surge alone is estimated to have added $300m to Fortescue chief Andrew Forrest’s portfolio alone.</p> <p>It could be a sign that traders have regained confidence in the viability of Fortescue’s plans to begin shipping 45m tonnes of iron ore by this time next year.</p> <p>By mid-2008, Fortescue plans to be Australia’s third largest iron ore producer.</p> <p>FMG shares had taken a battering in March when the company pushed back its targeted shipment date by six weeks after three cyclones disrupted construction work and killed two of its workers.</p> <p>The $3bn project, which involves coordinating its Chichester Range site to begin exporting in line with its rail and port construction, is on track to export 25m tonnes of iron ore in 2008, ramping up to 45mtpa in 2009.</p> <p>Fortescue is looking to increase its exports to 60m tonnes by 2011, and 120mtpa in later years.</p> <br />