Triple-listed South32 said on Wednesday that the Samancor manganese joint venture (JV) in South Africa will remain closed until the completion of the ongoing strategic review.

Production was suspended following a fatality at the Mamatwan mine, in the Northern Cape’s Kalahari basin, on 2 November 2015.

As part of the strategic review, due in December, the Samancor manganese JV will determine the optimal configuration and production profile for the South Africa manganese mines to improve their competitiveness and sustainability through the cycle.

The Samancor JV’s African operations include the Hotazel manganese mines and the Metalloys smelter, which is integrated with the Hotazel manganese mine to create an alternative logistical route for manganese into the export markets.

As a major employer in the region, the planned reconfiguration of the Samancor manganese mines is required to secure their longer term viability in an increasingly competitive market.

South32 notes that while production will be significantly impacted in the 2016 financial year as a result of the closure, rail and customer commitments will be met by drawing down inventory during this period.

The company says that mining activity is likely to recommence in January 2016.

A further update for the JV’s South African manganese mines and Metalloys smelter will be provided upon completion of the strategic review.

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