JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – The attributable production of ferrochrome company, Merafe Resources, increased by 10% in the first quarter of this year.
Attributable production was 113 000 t, up from last year’s first quarter output of 103 000 t.
The increase in the attributable ferrochrome output from the Glencore-Merafe Chrome Venture is primarily due to improved performances and efficiencies across the venture’s furnaces, coupled to the restarting of Rustenburg furnace 5 in the second half of 2016, the JSE-listed Merafe said on Tuesday.
The first quarter European benchmark ferrochrome price of $165/lb, applicable for the three months to March 31, was 6.7% higher than the current second quarter price of $1.54/lb, which is applicable in the three months to June 30.
Merafe, headed by CEO Zanele Matlala, shares in 20.5% of the earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) of the Glencore-Merafe Chrome Venture, the largest ferrochrome producer in the world with combined installed capacity of 2.34-million tonnes of ferrochrome a year.
The venture operates eight chromite mines and 22 ferrochrome furnaces.
The demand for ferrochrome is driven overwhelmingly by the production of stainless steel, which is projected to grow by 3.5% in 2017 and by 3.8% in 2018.
In the 12 months to December 31, Merafe’s share of the venture’s Ebitda was R1 176.2-million, 38% higher than in 2015.