MELBOURNE Aug 14 (Reuters) - China's CITIC Pacific said repairs at its Australian iron ore project were taking longer than expected and gave no date for starting shipments from the vastly over-budget $8 billion project, already around four years behind schedule.
"Our focus for the next six months will be to ensure the stable running of production line one, ramping it up to full capacity," the company, controlled by state-owned CITIC Group , said as it released its half-year results.
Following years of delays, the company had hoped to start exporting iron ore from the Sino Iron project in May, but due to problems at its grinding mill, a key plant in the production of magnetite ore, it had to postpone that.
CITIC Pacific said on Wednesday repairs of the motor in the grinding mill were taking longer than expected.
"Iron ore concentrate produced to date has been stockpiled near the port. The first shipment will be arranged once the relevant authorities grant permission to do so," it said. (Reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)