The vessel MV Anangel Explorer, loaded with tens of thousands tonnes of iron ore from the project, left from Port Hedland a short time ago bound for steel mills in South Korea.
The milestone has come more than 40 years after Mrs Rinehart’s father first discovered iron ore deposits in the Pilbara.
Speaking at a ceremony in Port Hedland before waving off the departed, Mrs Rinehart thanked those who had made the “significant project” possible.
“The Roy Hill mega project is the culmination of hard-work from the dedicated small executive and technical teams at Hancock and more recently by the entire Roy Hill team.”
Mrs Rinehart praised South Korean steel giant Posco for its “fantastic” investment in the project.
“In recent years there has been mounting company enthusiasm for Roy Hill,” she said.
“Our Australian company was not always a wealthy company, we struggled financially for several years, so this funding by Posco was very welcome.”
Barry Fitzgerald, CEO of Roy Hill, thanked employees and contractors who contributed and spoke of the safety performance of the project.
“The delivery of the project combined with the safety record which delivered a Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate performance 10 times better than the WA mining industry average, over the 33 million hours worked of which the last 11 million hours have been LTI free, demonstrates the excellent performance of the business in achieving this great and significant milestone.”
This overall delivery performance exceeds that of many of the similar mega projects completed over the past decade in Australia.”
Work on Australia’s biggest mining construction project began north of Newman in 2012, with the departure of the first shipment, Roy Hill and its owners will now focus on a rapid ramp-up to the Project’s name-plate capacity of 55 million tonnes of annual exports.