The world's fourth largest iron ore producer wants to drive production costs even lower

  • After its production costs hit a record low in the last quarter, Fortescue Metals wants to drive costs even lower this financial year, according to the CEO of the Australian iron ore producer.
  • The company is relying on automation and innovation to do so, such as using automated drills and an autonomous haulage system.

After its production costs hit a record low in the last quarter, Fortescue Metals wants to drive costs even lower this financial year, according to the CEO of the Australian iron ore producer.

Speaking to CNBC on "Street Signs," Elizabeth Gaines, CEO of Fortescue Metals, talked about the strategies that she believes will help the iron ore company to cut costs.

The measures that the company is taking is largely around automation, she said.

"We're rolling out our autonomous haulage system to our Chichester operations. That's a conversion of over 100 trucks from man to autonomous. We have automated drills, we have a new relocatable conveyor system," Gaines said.

"It's largely around innovation, that's the way we will continue to drive our costs lower," she added.

Gaines said the company, one of Australia's largest iron ore producers, is aiming for costs of production to be even lower this financial year.

She said: "We did come out at a record low $12.08 per wet metric tonne for our December quarter, so we're well on track for that guidance of between $11 and $12 a tonne for this financial year."

"There are some factors such as the Aussie dollar exchange rate and fuel prices that will determine where we stick within that $11 and $12," she added.

On the outlook for the future, the CEO also promised that Fortescue will "continue along our path to be the safest, lowest cost, and most profitable iron ore producer in the world."