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Roy Hill won't hit target for another year

AAP logoAAP 14/09/2016 Greg Roberts

The chief executive of Gina Rinehart's Roy Hill iron ore mine admits the company probably won't hit its annualised production target of 55 million tonnes a year by December.

Barry Fitzgerald says trying to hit that level in just 11 months was aggressive, but it was worth it to get as many tonnes to market as quickly as possible.

Ms Rinehart achieved her dream of operating her own West Australian mine when Roy Hill started shipping ore last December.

The mine will likely have shipped 14 million tonnes by the end of September, Mr Fitzgerald told reporters at the Pilbara mine on Wednesday.

"A two year ramp up (to 55 million tonnes) is feasible, 11 months is optimistic," he said.

"Having set an aggressive target, clearly today's marketplace with people forecasting the price of iron ore to decrease - one of the bank's forecast $US37 a tonne by the end of the year - it's better to have tonnes now than later."

Mr Fitzgerald won't say at what iron ore price Roy Hill would become unprofitable, but says the company has always been "cost driven margin focussed".

"The fact that some other companies have discovered the wonders of cost reduction, we've been aware of that for six years," he said.

He denied multiple disputes with contractors in the construction of the $10 billion project was a bad look or disproportionate.

Head contractor Samsung booked heavy losses on the project.

"0bviously I'm disappointed, it would be nice if everyone had been able to successfully complete the project and for a variety of reasons some of those things didn't happen," Mr Fitzgerald said.

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