Chinese steelmaker Citic Pacific exported its first shipment of iron ore from an $A8 billion project in the Pilbara in Western Australia on Monday.
Its Sino Iron mine, south west of Karratha, is about $A6 billion over budget and four years behind schedule, and has been beset by technical and operational issues.
It is the largest magnetite iron ore project in Australia, and involves taking low-grade magnetite ore and turning it into a high iron content concentrate.
The ABC reports the first shipment of 40,000 tonnes of magnetite concentrate was shipped from a port Citic built at Cape Preston.
Chairman Chang Zhenming said Sino Iron represents China's biggest ever investment in Australia.
Citic Pacific paid billionaire Clive Palmer $A415 million for the rights to mine in 2006. However, there have since
The shipment is expected to infuriate Mr Palmer who is locked in been legal battles over royalty payments and control of the port.
Citic has been stockpiling ore at the port since starting production in July but was not able to export.