The IFM ferrochrome
processing facility at
Buffelsfontein, in the
North West Province
 
Sydney, Australia — MININGREVIEW.COM — 26 November 2008 – International Ferro Metals Limited (IFM) – an integrated ferrochrome producer listed on the London Stock Exchange and headquartered in Sydney – has announced a temporary suspension of production at its two ferrochrome furnaces in South Africa in response to falling demand.

Making this announcement here, IFM confirmed that ferrochrome sales would continue to be supplied from the company’s inventory, which at 31 October 2008 stood at 38 076 tonnes.

The IFM statement added that this suspension had allowed the company to bring forward the planned 2009 maintenance programme, which would now commence in December 2008 to coincide with the suspension. Maintenance costs were included in the operating budget, and the furnaces would remain closed for maintenance until further notice.

It went on to explain that the off-take agreements in place with JISCO and CMC Cometals provided for sales volumes of an average of 14 160 tonnes per month with a minimum term of a further five years and eight years respectively. Both off-take partners had recently confirmed that they would honour the terms of their agreements.

Commenting on the suspension of production and the outlook for the company, managing director David Kovarsky said: “International Ferro Metals is financially robust and capable of dealing responsibly with the difficult market conditions by suspending production and deferring sales to China.”

He added that the decision to bring forward IFL’s maintenance programme enabled the company to convert its ferrochrome stock to cash and defer production until a later point when it expected to be able to take full advantage of declining input costs for coke, silicon and transport, which were expected to continue to fall.

“As soon as ferrochrome demand recovers, the company will be ready to resume production and sales,” Kovarsky concluded.