Fortescue meets Aboriginal contract target

By a staff reporter

Fortescue Metals Group has met its target early of awarding $1 billion in contracts to businesses at least a quarter owned by Aboriginals, just over 18 months after setting the goal.

The iron ore miner had aimed to meet the target by the end of the calendar year.

Since setting the "Billion Opportunities" initiative in December 2011, Fortescue has awarded 102 contracts and sub-contracts to more than 50 Aboriginal businesses.

To be included in the program, a business had to be at least 25 per cent owned by an Aboriginal person or group.

It came after the iron ore major issued about $500 million in accommodation services contracts to six Aboriginal joint ventures, for the company’s villages the Pilbara.

Shares in the miner jumped 3.12 per cent to $3.97 at 1105 AEST, against a benchmark fall of 0.12 per cent.

Of the contracts awarded, 80 per cent were to businesses at least 50 per cent Aboriginal‐owned.