LONDON Nov 28 CITIC Pacific Mining's Sino Iron
project in Western Australia is ramping up production and
expects to export more than 10 million tonnes this year, its
chairman said on Tuesday, adding the goal was to become the
world's lowest cost producer.
Chairman Zhang Jijing of CITIC Pacific Mining, a
wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed CITIC,
said production needed to be increased as quickly as possible to
achieve economies of scale.
"Our objective is to become the lowest cost, large scale
magnetite (iron ore) producer in the world," he said at a mining
conference in London.
Analysts have labelled it one of the world's costliest mines
and a commercial disaster by industry standards as it wrestled
with budget over-runs and delays.
But for China, the Sino Iron project, is central to
Beijing's strategy, as its domestic industry dries up, to ease
its dependence on the world's dominant low cost iron ore
producers, such as BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto
CITIC Pacific shipped its first ore to one of its Chinese
steel mills at the end of 2013.
Zhang said all six production lines have been commissioned,
with the last one starting six months ago and the mine is
ramping up production to export 10 million tonnes this year.
At full capacity, it would produce 24 million tonnes of iron
ore a year, compared with the 1.5 billion-tonne world market.
(Reporting by Barbara Lewis in London and Jim Regan in Sydney,
editing by David Evans)