Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 03 June 2010 – Merafe Resources “’ the world’s largest producer of ferrochrome “’ says it will be closing down 10 furnaces in South Africa for routine maintenance in the next three months, which will see the company reducing its operational capacity.
In a statement issued here Merafe, which operates a joint venture with Xstrata, said that during the maintenance period it would operate on average at 65% of capacity.
“The company annually chooses this period to mitigate the higher than average winter electricity supply tariffs,” the company said in the statement. It added that higher winter power costs and smelter maintenance closures would further reduce its ferrochrome output, which had already been hit by power shortages.
State-owned power utility Eskom, which charges mining companies higher than normal power tariffs in winter, was granted an annual average of 25% in power price increases for 2010 to 2013.