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Diversified resources group South32 is reviewing options around it manganese alloy smelters in SA and Australia, potentially selling or closing the operations because of changing market conditions.
In a presentation to the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Metals, Mining & Steel conference, South32 CEO Graham Kerr said the company was “reviewing options for our alloy smelters as changes in market dynamics have reduced the attractiveness of our exposure”.
South32 describes itself as the largest producer of manganese ore and a major source of manganese alloys, which is mainly used to make steel, giving it strength.
SA has installed manganese alloy making capacity of 1.2-million tonnes a year, but about 40% of this is used, according to a June 2018 document carried in the Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. SA has 80% of the world’s known manganese resources.
The document noted more than 80% of SA’s manganese was exported as ore, with high electricit...
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