Global miner Glencore Alloys and Merafe Resources have started a Section 189A process.
The companies confirmed on Friday that written notice had been given to its employees at its joint venture (JV), the Rustenburg Smelter, in the North West.
This decision was taken as a result of the deteriorating operating and market conditions across the South African ferrochrome industry, including unsustainable electricity tariffs and supply interruptions, cross subsidies and real cost inflation.
These factors, Glencore said, also led to the displacement of significant volumes of ferrochrome production to lower-cost international competitors.
Despite significant investments to make the operation more competitive, the smelter has suffered from material financial losses, which Glencore said, “is expected to continue for the foreseeable future”.
Prior to the start of the Section 189A process, the company has engaged in extensive consultations with stakeholders, including employee representatives, local and regional government.
The consultation process will continue to attempt to secure the future of the operation.