Mining giant Fortescue has dished out more than $1 billion in contracts to Aboriginal businesses since 2011.

The iron ore miner had set a target of $1 billion in contracts to Aboriginal business by the end of the 2013 calendar year.

It passed it after awarding $500 million worth of contracts to six Aboriginal joint ventures to work on the company's accommodation villages in the Pilbara.

The company set the goal in December 2011 and has since awarded 102 contracts under the scheme.

Fortescue CEO Nev Power said he hoped the contracts would eventually help Aboriginal businesses become successful in their own right.

To score a contract, a business had to be at least 25 per cent owned by an Aboriginal individual or group.

Fortescue founder Andrew "Twiggy" Forrest said simply giving cash payments to traditional owners would have been taking the "easy option".

"We (Fortescue) do the opposite of typical welfare policies: we teach a man to fish and give them a rod."


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