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Merafe poised to return to the black

Tapping of
ferrochrome in
Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 15 July 2010 – South African ferrochrome producer Merafe Resources says it expects to report a return to black for the six months to the end of June, after boosting production on the back of rising demand.

In a statement released here, the company said it expected to report first-half headline earnings per share of between 7 and 8 cents, up from a headline loss per share of 3 cents last year.

Last year Merafe reported a first-half headline loss owing to low international ferrochrome prices, a firmer rand and lower output due to the economic downturn.

Demand for ferrochrome, used in stainless steel to prevent corrosion, slumped during the economic crisis, forcing companies in top producer South Africa to cut output.

Merafe’s joint venture with Xstrata has restarted most of its furnaces since the market began to turn in the third quarter of last year.