Fortescue pledges $9.2b for clean iron ore

·2-min read

Billionaire Andrew Forrest aims to eliminate fossil fuel use and achieve zero emissions across his company's iron ore operations by 2030.

The mining magnate on Tuesday announced plans for Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) to spend $US6.2 billion ($A9.2b) by 2030 to eliminate gas and diesel from operations, reducing costs by $US818 million per year.

Dr Forrest said the group - Fortescue Future Industries and FMG - was ramping up its transformation into a global green metals, minerals, energy and technology company.

Updating the firm's heavy industry decarbonisation strategy, he said Fortescue's plan would "set an example that a post-fossil fuel era is good commercial, common sense".

The spending is planned for 2024-28 and includes the deployment of an additional 2-3 gigawatts of renewable energy generation and battery storage as well as a green mining fleet and locomotives.

As business and political leaders gather in New York for the annual "climate week" of events, the Fortescue executive chairman made the announcement at the invitation of US President Joe Biden's First Movers Coalition and the United Nations Global Compact on sustainability.

The decarbonisation strategy is forecast to displace 700 million litres of diesel and 15 million gigajoules of gas annually by 2030.

When fully implemented, Fortescue expects the strategy and associated investment to avoid three million tonnes of carbon equivalent emissions each year.

"We are already seeing direct benefits of the transition away from fossil fuels - we avoided 78m litres of diesel usage at our Chichester Hub in FY22," he said.

"But we must accelerate our transition to the post fossil fuel era, driving global scale industrial change as climate change continues to worsen."

Fortescue also announced that the international Science Based Targets Initiative will verify and audit its emissions reduction.

This technical auditing initiative was set up to ensure companies reach their Paris Agreement goal to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees.