Australian iron ore company Fortescue Metals Group is preparing to develop the Queens Valley mining area at its Solomon Hub in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

With a total investment of circa $287 million, the development project, which has an expected life between 10 and 15 years, is set to maintain production of the low-alumina Kings Fines product.

The Queens development has received all environmental and heritage approvals. As part of the development, Fortescue will construct a new hydraulic barrier wall in accordance with environmental approvals.

The project, part of Fortescue's plan to boost margins through higher grade products, will also include the relocation of the Solomon mobile maintenance facilities closer to the Queen’s operation to minimise travel distances and operating costs.