Nullagine Iron Ore Joint Venture, a 50:50 joint venture between BC Iron and Fortescue Metals Group, has loaded its first shipment of iron ore in Port Hedland, Western Australia, to be transported to China.

BC Iron managing director Mike Young said this was a significant milestone marking the emergence of a new Australian iron ore producer and exporter from the Pilbara region.

Nullagine has become the first junior iron ore company to successfully access and use third-party rail infrastructure owned by a major company in the Pilbara.

As part of the shipment, 20,000t of iron ore has been loaded for a major unidentified Chinese trading company.