Fortescue sees $6B bill to ditch fossil fuels

Australian mining giant Fortescue on Tuesday said it is putting aside US$6.2 billion to wean itself off fossil fuels by the end of the decade, hoping to gain a head start on competitors.

The Perth-headquartered company told investors that a goal of achieving zero emissions on mining iron ore operations by 2030 would come with a hefty price tag, but insisted it still made business sense.

“We must accelerate our transition to the post-fossil fuel era,” said executive chairman Andrew Forrest, promising decarbonisation would lower costs and offer a better return for shareholders in the long term.

The company estimates that it can cut three million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions each year, and save almost a billion dollars on fuel and carbon credits.

The capital investment could be recouped by 2034, the company said.

Fortescue is one of the world’s largest miners of iron ore — the main ingredient for making steel.

Its shares slipped 0.6 percent in Sydney on Tuesday afternoon.

Agence France-Presse

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