CITIC Pacific Mining has blamed weather delays, an "acute shortage" of electricians, and the inexperience of its lead contractor for delays on the Pilbara Sino Iron project.
In the company's half year results announcement CITIC chairman Chang Zhenming told investors "unpredictable challenges" had prevented the Sino project from meeting its target to start mining by the end of the month.
"There is no question that tremendous progress has been made in the last six months," he said.
"However, it is also a fact that we will not be able to produce iron ore later this month, which is a disappointment to us and to you."
Zhenming said the lack of Australian experience for its Chinese lead contractor MCC was partly to blame for the delays.
"MCC, although an experienced contractor in China, the complications and the amount of work involved in building such a large and complex project in Australia far exceeded their expectations."
But Zhenming also said CITIC was prepared to share responsibility for the setbacks.
"As the employer of MCC, we do bear our share of the responsibility," he said.
CITIC said extreme weather and equipment delivery delays had also been challenges for the Sino project.
Earlier this year the company said the cost of the Sino project had ballooned to more than triple its original budget.