MELBOURNE Aug 16 China's CITIC Pacific Ltd
has delayed the start-up of its $6.2-billion
Australian iron ore project, saying on Thursday it now expects
trial production to begin in November, three months later than
The company's Sino Iron project in Western Australia,
originally expected to start producing in 2010, is one of
several Chinese-controlled projects in Australia that have faced
delays and soaring costs, turning China more cautious about
splashing out on iron ore investments.
The budget on the project has more than doubled over the
past five years, swelled by a shortage of skilled labour, higher
prices for equipment and construction materials and an expansion
of the project.
"Bringing our Sino Iron project into production as soon as
possible remains our top priority," CITIC Pacific Chairman Chang
Zhenming said in a statement along with the company's half-year
CITIC Pacific, a steel and property conglomerate controlled
by China's state-owned CITIC Group, blamed its contractor, China
Metallurgical Group Corp (MCC) , for missing
a commitment to complete construction of the Sino Iron project
by the end of August.
"Based on the most recent meeting with MCC during which
another detailed review was conducted, integrated commissioning
of the first line is planned to begin in October and trial
production is expected to start in November," Sino Iron said.
(Reporting by Sonali Paul;Editing by Clarence Fernandez)