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Picture: SUPPLIED
Picture: SUPPLIED

Merafe Resources, the junior empowerment partner in a chrome joint venture with Glencore, said on Friday that attributable ferrochrome production surged 43% to 379,000 tonnes in the year to end-December 2020 as a result of fewer Covid-19-related restrictions.

Improved plant efficiencies achieved at its smelters also boosted output.

Most chrome is converted into ferrochrome, the raw material used to produce stainless steel. China is the largest ferrochrome consumer.

Merafe, which holds 20.5% of the Glencore-Merafe Chrome Venture in SA, derives all its revenue from the partnership. The company is 21.8% owned by the state-backed Industrial Development Corporation.

Most chrome is converted into ferrochrome, the raw material used to produce stainless steel. China is the largest ferrochrome consumer.

Merafe also announced that it had reached an agreement with Glencore to add to the joint venture a new platinum group metal (PGM) production plant that is being constructed at Kroondal mine.

The new plant’s main operations will be the treatment of PGM-bearing material.

The shares were relatively flat at R1.34 in early trade on the JSE, having risen by 183% over a one-year rolling period.

mahlangua@businesslive.co.za

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