Australia's third biggest iron ore miner Fortescue Metals Group has reported a large jump in production for the final quarter of last year.
FMG says iron ore shipments surged by 32 per cent to 19.6 million tonnes in the three months to the end of December, compared with the same time in 2011.
The result was in line with analysts' expectations.
The chief executive Nev Power says the final three months of last year were "a defining quarter" in the company's history, as the industry faced plummeting iron ore prices.
"We needed to respond quickly and decisively to address our profitability and funding," he said.
"As a result, we have reduced our overheads and operating costs and we restructured our debt to ensure that we have established a robust base as a high efficiency and lower cost company with greater resilience." Fortescue says several parties have expressed "strong" interest in taking a stake in its rail and port assets.
No tax Foretescue says it still does not expect to pay any mining tax this financial year despite a recovery in the price of ore.
Iron ore plunged to below $US90 a tonne in September, but has since recovered to just under $US150.
However, Fortescue's chief financial officer Stephen Pearce says the Minerals Resource Rent Tax is calculated on annual profits, so the company probably will not be liable to pay the tax this year.
"The average for the year so far is not that much above $US100 [a tonne] and so, even if we saw iron ore prices continue at these levels for the balance of the year, we would not expect to pay any MRRT this year." Despite currently paying no MRRT, Fortescue Metals is challenging the tax in the High Court, claiming it is unconstitutional.