Established in 2003 and producing 81Mt of iron ore just two years later, Fortesque Metals has grown to become the world's fourth largest iron ore producer in less than a decade. The Perth-based company won two awards at the recent 2014 Platts Global Metals Awards.
The company won the Metals Company of the Year and the Rising Star award at this year's event and were said to be chosen by the judging panel for 'forging its own path, swiftly rising in the sector and becoming one of Australia's corporate success stories'.
When Fortesque entered the market in 2003 it was a small company in a market dominated by the big multi-national operators, but after employing what Platts called 'innovative techniques to decades-old maps' it soon discovered vast iron ore deposits in Western Australia and now operates four mines and claims to offer 'the world's most efficient iron ore transportation methods'.
Bouncing back from financial difficulties in 2012 and its job creation record provided two more good reasons for Fortesque winning the top metals prize at the awards.
Other notable winners from the steel industry include Chandra Shekhar Verma of Steel Authority of India Ltd (who won CEO of the Year alongside Alcoa's Klaus Kleinfeld) and ArcelorMittal and Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal (who walked away with Deal of the Year).
SAIL's Verma took CEO of the Year for his 'comprehensive leadership style', which one judge attributed to the overall success of SAIL and the reason why it is 'the most important steel player in India'.
ArcelorMittal also won big. Not only did the world's largest steel company walk away with Deal of the Year (see above) the company's Gregory Ludkovsky, vice president of global research, won the Lifetime Achievement Award. Ludkovsky presides over 11 laboratories and something like 1,300 researchers. "Not only did his success in blending the R&D units in North American and Europe following the ArcelorMittal merger catch the judges' attention, but also his development of high-strength automotive steels that promote passenger safety," said Platts.