Assmang announces conversion of a furnace at Machadodorp Works
11 February 2010
South African mining group, Assmang Limited (“Assmang”), today announced its decision to convert the No 5 furnace at Machadodorp Works from ferrochrome production to high carbon ferromanganese production.
All relevant regulatory requirements for the conversion are in the process of being met, and it is anticipated that No. 5 Furnace will be able to produce high carbon ferromanganese by mid-2010, at a level of about 4 000 tons per month.
Assmang needs to meet elevated demand for its high carbon ferromanganese and there is no excess capacity at the Cato Ridge Works to meet that requirement at this stage.
This decision still allows Assmang to meet its contractual commitments for the production of ferrochrome by the continued operation of its three chrome furnaces, whilst optimising overall alloy production by the additional production of ferromanganese. The No.5 Furnace at the Machadodorp Works is already undergoing a major rebuild, which will facilitate its conversion for the production of ferromanganese.
Difficult global economic conditions in the past two years have resulted in a reduced demand for ferrochrome. As a result, Assmang ceased operating some of its furnaces and retrenched staff at the Machadodorp Works during 2009. The decision to convert the furnace will, to some extent, offset these retrenchments made last year.
A company spokesperson said, “The Machadodorp Works will have sufficient capacity to fulfill existing ferrochrome contractual obligations. Assmang remains focused on the chrome business and is in the process of expanding chrome ore production capacity at the Dwarsrivier Mine. There are no plans to convert any other furnaces and the company is carrying out feasibility studies on expanding ferrochrome and ferromanganese capacity. Assmang keeps the ferrochrome and ferromanganese markets under constant review and will continue to respond to changing market and operational requirements as necessary.”
Assmang Limited is jointly controlled by African Rainbow Minerals Limited (50%) and Assore Limited (50%) and consist of three divisions: iron ore, manganese and chrome.
For further information please contact:
Chief Executive: ARM Ferrous
Telephone: +27 (0) 11 779 1106
Senior Sales Manager: Chrome
Telephone: +27 (0) 11 770 6885
Issued by sponsor: Deutsche Securities (SA) (Proprietary) Limited