Fortescue commenced construction at Anderson Point in Port Hedland in 2006. Finishing in 2008, the open-access rail infrastructure began to support operations at the Fortescue Herb Elliott Port and at the Company's first minesite, Cloudbreak. In the first full year of operations, Fortescue mined, railed and shipped more than 27 million tonnes of iron ore to customers in China.
Many milestones have been achieved since then including the establishment of Fortescue's second minesite at Christmas Creek to create the Chichester Hub and the development of plans for the Solomon Hub of tenements to the west of the company's original mines.
Fortescue's project was founded on the raising of A$3.7 billion capital, including A$1 billion equity, during two finance roadshows in August 2006 and July 2007. The August 2006 raising was the largest single high-yield Asia-Pacific transaction, the largest high-yield bond project financing ever, one of the largest corporate bonds out of Australia and one of the largest global bond issues in the sector. Since then Fortescue has grown to become a S&P/ASX 50 company. Over 49,000 Australians have become shareholders in the proudly Australian founded and managed company.
A substantial increase in Fortescue's Resource Inventory to 10.03 billion tonnes in March 2011, including 1.6 billion tonnes of Reserves, positioned the company as one of the world's major resource houses. This massive Resource Inventory was achieved in record time and was delineated from approximately 10 per cent of Fortescue's 87,000 square kilometres of Pilbara tenements. In February 2011, Fortescue announced a new discovery of over 1 billion tonnes of high grade Brockman iron formation. Named the Nyidinghu project, it is 35 kilometres south of the Cloudbreak operation on the edge of the Hamersley Ranges. – less