The integrated IFM
ferrochrome processing
facility at
Buffelsfontein, in
the North West
Province of South
Africa
 
Sydney, Australia — MININGREVIEW.COM — 11 July 2008 – International Ferro Metals (IFM) – an integrated ferrochrome producer with production facilities located in the North West province of South Africa – produced a quarterly record of 60 698 tonnes of ferrochrome in the three months to 30 June 2008 – a substantial 16% increase above production in the first quarter of the year.

In its second quarter production report released here, IFM – which is headquartered in Sydney and listed on the London Stock Exchange – confirmed that total production included 56 608 tonnes of charge chrome (up 8% on the March 2008 quarter) and a further 4 090 tonnes of recoverable chrome from the slag stockpile.

The reported revealed a 57% increase in ferrochrome sales to 89 091 tonnes from 56 905 tonnes in the first quarter of 2008. It also emphasised that management remained in dialogue with Eskom on electricity supply for the short, medium and long-term requirements of the company.

Full year production and sales amounted to 205 607 tonnes and 207 862 tonnes respectively, against a design capacity of 267,000 tonnes. Production for the full year was impacted by the ramp-up of the facility to full production, and electricity constraints imposed by Eskom.

The report went on to emphasise that demand for ferrochrome remained strong, which was reflected in the 6.8% increase of September quarter ferrochrome prices announced on 1 July 2008 from US$1.92 to US$2.05 per pound. The ferrochrome price was now at a record high with industry commentators anticipating further increases throughout the year, the report concluded.

Commenting on the June quarter production results, chief executive Stephen Turner said: “We are pleased with the 16% improvement in ferrochrome production despite continuing electricity constraints imposed by Eskom. “We remain focused on improving operational performance,” he added, “and together with tight cost controls, and a strong ferrochrome price, management is positive on the outlook for the future.”