Australia's Fortescue says pays off more debt early

A driver inspects an earth mover at Fortescue Metals Group Ltd.'s Cloudbreak iron ore operation in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, on Monday, July 25, 2011
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Australia's Fortescue Metals Group said on Wednesday it has made further headway in paying down some $12 billion in debt it amassed building the world's fourth-biggest iron ore mining company over the past decade.

Fortescue said it plans to redeem $500 million of senior unsecured notes in October. It did not give a figure for net debt, but said earlier this month that net debt stood then at $7.2 billion after it repaid $3.1 billion in fiscal 2014.

The company said it intends to repay an additional $500 million to $1 billion during fiscal 2015, subject to iron ore prices and other market factors.

Australia's third-biggest iron ore miner by volume reported a net profit of $2.73 billion in the year through June as rising production from the Pilbara region of Western Australia state offset a recent steep fall in iron-ore prices.

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Fortescue is one of a small number of mega miners flooding the sea-traded market with cheaply produced iron ore in a bid to knock out competitors.

The miner is maintaining production above its target rates as it vies to capture more of China's 1 billion-tonne-per-year market for the steel-making ingredient.