Citic Pacific's $10 billion Sino Iron project in the Pilbara has ran into more delays, with faulty equipment pushing back commissioning on a key production line.
In a project update Citic said a gearless motor drive, which drives a grinding mill on one of six production lines, needs to be removed for repairs.
The equipment was previously set for commissioning next month, but repairs are expected to take around three months.
“Parties are analysing the problem and deciding on the best course of action to remedy the situation,” Citic said.
“Based on the initial recommendation from the manufacturer, the gearless motor drive needs to be taken out of the grinding mill so that it can be examined in detail and a repair plan can be developed.”
Citic also said a separate production line had not been operating consistently since commissioning last year, with “technical issues and adjustment of production parameters” disrupting operation.
“All parties are working together with components manufacturers and service providers to address those problems,” the update said.
“As defects are exposed and repaired during this commissioning process, future stability of the production line will be improved.”
The Sino iron ore 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.