Australian iron ore company Fortescue Metals has awarded Leighton Holdings a mining services contract worth $1.3bn for its Kings project in Pilbara region in Western Australia.

Fortescue’s Kings iron ore project is presently under construction and is expected to be completed over the coming months.

The contract includes operating and maintaining the open cut mining fleet, mine planning, ore quality control, ore processing facilities and associated infrastructure.

Fortescue Metals chief executive officer Nev Power said the latest contract award marked another significant milestone in the company’s expansion to 155mtpa by the end of 2013.

"Our production capacity of 155mpta will be achieved with the completion of Solomon, consolidating our position as one of the world’s largest, low cost producers of iron ore," Power said.

In September 2012, Fortescue awarded Leighton Contractors an initial $1.5bn five-year contract to provide whole-of mine management at the nearby Firetail deposit.