London, England — MININGREVIEW.COM — 01 April 2009 – International Ferro Metals Limited (IFL) – an integrated ferrochrome producer listed on the JSE with its head office in Sydney and its production facilities in the North West province of South Africa – has decided to restart one of its two ferrochrome furnaces in mid April 2009 for a period of approximately three months.
A release issued here explained that this decision would enable the company to convert its raw material inventory, comprising mainly chrome ore and coke, to finished product in order to monetise those inventories and generate a contribution towards fixed overheads.
It added that this move took into account the steady reduction of finished stock levels as well as sales commitments over the next three months, despite the continuing weak ferrochrome market. Following this period IFL would re-assess the state of the ferrochrome market which would need to improve from current levels to warrant a continuation of production.
Further to the difficult economic environment, IFL has advised its employees and representative union that it has commenced consultation regarding a proposal to reduce the number of people employed by the company to a level which could still operate the single ferrochrome furnace.
It is estimated that approximately 135 employees may be affected. The company is committed to constructively engaging with its representative union, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), and the Employee Representative Council in a process to try to mitigate job losses.
In addition to the above measures, IFL has announced that all senior employees, including all board members, will be taking a 10% cut in salary until further notice.