LSE- and Nasdaq-listed specialist alloy producer Afarak has decided to idle the two submerged arc furnaces at its Mogale Alloys processing facility, in Krugersdorp, South Africa.
“The business environment in South Africa, with the irregular availability and the high cost of energy has constituted a major difficulty to achieving good, reliable performance in our Mogale smelter.
“Macro business influences, notably the falling ferrochrome prices, influenced by US/China trade uncertainties, have compounded site and country-specific challenges,” Afarak CEO Guy Konsbruck said on Wednesday.
For the foreseeable future, the Mogale smelter will only operate its 40 MVA plasma furnace for plasma charge chrome, which produces about 4 000 t a month, as well as a convertor for ferrochrome, which produced about 1 400 t a month.
“We have fought hard to avoid this step, but given the losses recently generated at Mogale, and the absence of any signs of State support for the industry, we had no other choice.
“We had started the consultation period with the workers’ union to find an optimal solution to safeguard the asset and save a maximum amount of jobs. We also emphasise that all existing sales contracts will be honoured,” Konsbruck said.