Rustenburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 01 December 2008 – The Xstrata-Merafe Chrome Venture – which has been reviewing market conditions closely on an ongoing basis – has decided to implement further reductions in ferrochrome production to respond to short term weakness in demand.
This follows the announcement on November 10 of a temporary suspension of six ferrochrome furnaces, representing 500 000 tonnes of annual capacity.
Today’s announcement here revealed that a further five furnaces had now been suspended, representing approximately 406 000 tonnes of annual ferrochrome production capacity, and reducing 2008 ferrochrome production by a further 50 000 tonnes. The total suspended capacity represented 906 000 tonnes, or 52% of annual operating capacity.
The announcement went on to point out that a total of one furnace at Boshoek, four furnaces at Rustenburg, three furnaces at Lydenburg, and three furnaces at Wonderkop would remain suspended until market conditions improved. The Xstrata-Merafe Chrome Venture would continue to monitor prevailing market conditions closely.
Xstrata emphasised that no lay-offs were anticipated for permanent employees at the furnaces, enabling the venture to return to capacity quickly and efficiently when market conditions allowed.