The furnace building
at Assmang’s Cato
Ridge works
Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 15 April 2008 – Another two furnaces have resumed ferromanganese production at leading iron ore producer Assmang Limited’s Cato Ridge Works, about 60 km from Durban in KwaZulu-Natal. The smelter has been shut down since mid-February when a blast killed six workers.

An ARM Ferrous statement released here confirmed that the Department of Labour had lifted the prohibition order on two more furnaces, and they been started up yesterday, bringing to four the number of furnaces back in operation.

This follows the sign-off by organised labour and the department on independently recommended additional safety features, including the construction of blast protection walls to shield employees from the furnaces, and re-training of operations staff.

“A planned shut-down period for the fifth furnace has been brought forward, with re-commissioning expected in mid-May,” the statement adds. “The sixth furnace – which was damaged extensively in the explosion of 24 February – is expected to be re-commissioned in the fourth quarter of 2008.