In what was a strong June quarter in terms of iron ore production, Fortescue Metals Group gave an update on its autonomous haulage (AHS) project at the Chichester Hub operations and the installation of a relocatable conveyor at Cloudbreak.The company shipped 46.5 million tonnes of ore from its Pilbara operations during the quarter, up 4% year-on-year, at a close-to-unchanged C1 cash cost of $12.17 per tonne (wet).Mining, processing, rail and shipping combined to operate at or near record rates during the three-month period, helping the company reach its goal of shipping 170 Mt during the 2018 financial year to the end of June.The company would have been helped by an increasing number of autonomous haul trucks operating at Chichester Hub during the quarter. Fortescue noted that 19 trucks had been converted and were in operation, through an agreement with Caterpillar, out of the over 100 it plans on retrofitting.Since the introduction of AHS technology at its Solomon mine in 2013, automated trucks have moved over 500 Mt of material and achieved a greater than 30% increase in productivity levels.Last month, the company noted its relocatable conveyor, manufactured by RCR Tomlinson, had been instaled at Cloudbreak. In the June quarter results, FMG said full capacity was due to be achieved in November.The 5-km conveyor includes a semi-mobile primary crushing station and feeds directly into the Cloudbreak ore processing facility. The relocatable conveyor and semi-mobile crushing facilities can be positioned approximate to pits and relocated once mined.By providing greater flexibility and increased accessibility to remote mine pits, the relocatable conveyor will reduce haulage costs, offsetting rising strip ratios and delivering sustained efficiency improvements across the business. FMG expects the conveyor to replace 12 trucks at full capacity.
Financial woes have led to an increase in calls to suicide helplines by farmers.It is estimated that Irish families will spend an average of €894 this Christmas. More than any other European nation.Direct Democracy Ireland claimed founder Ben Gilroy was portrayed on radio as being anti-English. The BAI disagreed.A judge ruled that it was “entirely improper” that a mother contacted a Dáil deputy in relation to an ongoing court case.WORLD#ECB: Another record low. The European Central Bank has cut its key interest rate by 25 basis points to 0.25 per cent this afternoon.#SNOWDEN: “Al-Qaeda is lapping it up.” British spy chiefs said today that intelligence leaks by Edward Snowden were being used by enemies to change the way they operate.#PAKISTAN: The Taliban have named Mullah Fazlullah as their new leader, after the death of Hakimullah Mehsud in a drone attack. Fazlullah’s men are known to have shot schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai. [BBC]INNOVATION Water supplies for Dubliners are back to normal tonight as restrictions were lifted.The Revenue Commissioners have defended their handling of the property tax saying they assumed people would be familiar with payment options.Gardaí are investigating the discovery of the body of an elderly man in Co. Cork.Over three-quarters of people intend to support the same-sex marriage referendum according to the first poll since its announcement .In 1963, The Beatles played in Dublin and Belfast – and today marks the 50th anniversary of that milestone gig. Updated 23:00NEED TO CATCH up? TheJournal.ie brings you a round-up of today’s news.The Beatles relaxing over tea in London in 1963. The famous four-piece played in Dublin 50 years ago tonight. Pic: AP/Press Association Images.IRISHMichael Noonan called it a “red letter day” as the Troika completed their final review of Ireland’s bailout programme but the IMF’s Ireland Mission Chief says they’re not leaving yet.Samantha Azzopardi, the woman found outside the GPO last month, is to be flown back to Australia tonight. PARTING SHOTIn what must be one of the greatest achievements by an Irish professional sportsperson, Tony McCoy rode his 4,000th winner today. Pic: David Davies/PA Wire.First published 21:00. Twitter’s stock surged on the first day of trading, jumping 73 per cent as they opened. The sale avoided much of the missteps experienced by Facebook at its launch last year. [New York Times]3D printers have got a lot of bad press recently, but this robotic arm capable of boosting a person’s lifting power by 18kg, was made by one and has won the 2013 Dyson award.