Fortescue’s Founder and Chairman, Andrew Forrest AO joined Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Gaines, the Fortescue Board of Directors and shareholders for the 15th Annual General Meeting of Fortescue Metals Group. Ms Gaines outlined Fortescue’s achievements over the 2018 financial year including:Record shipments of 46.5 Mt in the June quarter, to deliver the production target of 170 Mt for the yearAn industry-leading and record low C1 cost of $12.36/wmtNet gearing of 24%Approval of the $1.275 billion Eliwana mine and rail projectDividend payout ratio of 62%, increasing returns to shareholders.“Our results for FY18 continue to demonstrate our strong operational and cost performance across all of our sites, underpinned by our commitment and ongoing focus to become global leaders in safety,” Gaines said.“We are investing in the long-term sustainability of our core iron ore business, while pursuing growth and development opportunities, managing our flexible capital structure and delivering strong returns to our shareholders.”“We work hard to ensure communities benefit from our success, by creating economic opportunities for Aboriginal people through the provision of training, employment and business development,” she said.Demonstrating the positive impact Fortescue is having on Aboriginal people in the Pilbara, the Fortescue Board of Directors was joined by participants of the latest cohort of the company’s Leadership and Excellence in Aboriginal People (LEAP) program.Forrest said, “At Fortescue it is about giving a hand up, not a hand out and programs like LEAP provide our Aboriginal work mates with the chance to grow in confidence and become role models both at work and within their own communities.”Outlining Fortescue’s future development opportunities Forrest said, “Fortescue’s growth will be built on our reputational capital, underpinned by our people and our deep relationships within the communities in which we work. Just as we have in the Pilbara, we will collaborate to contribute effectively to overall social and economic wellbeing and to the empowerment of communities.”Fortescue’s LEAP started as a pilot program in November 2015 with 14 participants. Following the success of the pilot, LEAP is now in its fourth year. Of the 19 participants this year, 26% are women.Fortescue directly employs 810 Aboriginal people representing 14.4% of the total workforce. The total number of Aboriginal people working on Fortescue sites is 1,161 including direct employees, labour hire and contractors.