Long-awaited production to start at CITIC’s Sino Iron mine

CITIC Pacific has announced it is moving into the initial production phase at its Pilbara Sino Iron project, following four years of delays and billions of dollars of budget blowouts.

The commissioning of the first of the project's two production lines started in July, with the company hoping to ramp up to full production  over the next six months, Reuters reported.

"We are now moving into the production stage," CITIC said.

Citic Pacific's huge $10 billion Sino Iron project set to be the largest magnetite development in the world, producing around 28 million tonnes of concentrate and pellets a year.

Once completed, it will be the first time a Chinese-owned mining company ships iron ore products from WA to China.

The project has run into a spate of delays and cost blow-outs during the commissioning phase, and late last year Citic blamed the skills shortage, bad weather, and the inexperience of its lead contractor for delays on the project.

Legal disputes with billionaire Clive Palmer over royalty payments have also hampered the development and driven up costs.

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