Merafe’s R1.67 billion
ferrochrome smelter
at Steelpoort
in Mpumulanga
Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 27 July 2011 – Merafe Resources “’ South Africa’s largest ferrochrome producer “’ says its production in the first half of 2011 fell 4% to 150,000t, but points out that the decrease in production was mainly due to furnace refurbishments.

“The refurbishment activities largely focused on the more efficient Premus furnaces, resulting in lower efficiencies and increased production costs,” the miner said in a statement here.

Merafe, which operates a joint venture with London-listed Xstrata, said it had achieved an 8% increase in the benchmark ferrochrome price to US$1.35 per pound in the second quarter.

The company revealed last week that it expected to report headline earnings per share of between 3 and 4 cents for the six months to the end of June, compared with 7 cents in the comparison period.

Merafe said it would operate at around 50% of its capacity during the June-to-August winter months, due to market conditions and routine maintenance.

The company will report its interim results on 2 August.

Shares in the company are down 34%so far this year, compared with a 0.17% rise in Johannesburg’s All-Share index.