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Base metals miner and marketer Assore raised its dividend by 400c to R10 per share for the six months to December, as continuing strong commodity prices outweighed the dampening effect of a rand that appreciated 6% against the dollar. Assore’s chrome, iron and manganese ore and alloys are used in steel making. China’s steady growth in crude and stainless steel production has increased demand for these inputs and outstripped supply. In the second half of last year, average iron-ore prices for 62% fines rose 5% to $68/tonne compared with those of the matching period in 2016, with higher premiums for the lumpy product that Assore sells. The price of 44% grade manganese lifted 5% to $6.30/dry metric tonne unit as chrome ore with 44% content fell 13% to $195/tonne. In the comparable period, chrome-ore prices spiked to $400/tonne. Underlying demand for chrome ore remained strong, Assore said. It achieved record sales as output from the Dwarsrivier Chrome Mine increased. Group revenue rose...

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