CITIC's Iron Ore Project in Western Australia Delayed Yet Again

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By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | August 16, 2012 4:24 PM EST

The trial production of the $US8-billion iron ore project of China's CITIC Pacific Ltd in Western Australia has again been moved to November, delayed three months later than last announced.

This time the cause of delay was blamed on the failure of the project's main contractor, China Metallurgical Group Corp (MCC), to complete the construction of the magnetite iron ore mine project's processing area 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," the company said in a statement.

But "bringing our Sino Iron project into production as soon as possible remains our top priority," the company added.

The Sino Iron project was first expected to go online two years ago in 2010.

Initially a $2.5-billion worth development project, the budget allocation on the project has more than doubled over the past five years, triggered by rising prices for equipment and construction materials, a dearth of skilled labour, and an expansion of the project.

CITIC reported first half profit dropped to $HK5.5 billion ($676 million) from $HK6 billion a year ago, with its steel-making division posting a drop in profits by 63 per cent to $HK524 million.

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