South African ferrochrome producer International Ferro Metals plans to cut its cost base by firing its smelters with waste product from mining peer Anglo Platinum.
“This new source of chromite supply for our two furnaces will reduce our input cost and will enable us to better leverage the improving ferrochrome market conditions,” chief executive David Kovarsky said in a statement on Wednesday.
IFM will get 15 000 tonnes of chromite per month starting next year, covering nearly 30% of the company’s concentrate requirements, he added.
The chromite will come from the tailings, or waste products, from a concentrator 50km away at the Rustenburg division of Angloplat, the world’s largest platinum producer.
Angloplat is majority owned by mining group Anglo American.
IFM will pay R150-million to build a retreatment plant that will process the Angloplat tailings and gain the right for supply of 15 000 tonnes of chromite a month for nine years once the plant is running next year.
Ferrochrome is a key ingredient in stainless steel, giving it anti-corrosive properties. – Reuters