Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 19 October 2010 – Merafe Resources Limited “’ a company which produces and sells ferrochrome to the stainless steel industry through the Xstrata-Merafe Chrome Venture “’ says ferrochrome production fell 7% in the nine months to 30September, due to reduced operating capacity.
The JSE-listed company “’ which is South Africa’s largest producer of the metal “’ supplies around 20% of the world’s ferrochrome requirements.
In a statement released here it said it had utilised an average of 64% of its operating capacity during the winter months due to scheduled maintenance. It added that a stronger rand and rising mining costs in South Africa had continued to put pressure on its margins.
The company reiterated that ferrochrome producers had settled the fourth-quarter European benchmark price at US$1.30 per pound. Ferrochrome is used to prevent corrosion in stainless steel.
Shares of Merafe are up about 2% so far this year, underperforming a nearly 9% rise in Johannesburg’s All-share index.