Australian miner Fortescue Metals said half-year net profit more than tripled to $1.7 billion, in line with market forecasts, as it raced to dig more iron ore to meet higher production targets.
The world's fourth-biggest iron ore producer set a guidance target to ship 127 million tonnes in the fiscal year to June 30, 2014, up from 81 million the previous year as it enters the final stages of an $11 billion expansion program.
(Read more: Why it's time to turn bullish on miners)
Fortescue said it lowered its cash cost of production over the period by more than a third to an average $33 per wet tonne, helped a weaker Australian dollar.
Spot iron ore prices currently stand at $124.40 a tonne, according to data compiler Steel Index.
Iron ore continues to generate big returns and miners in Australia - the world's biggest supplier - are counting on greater economies of scale to maintain profits for the steel-making raw material.