CEO Chris Jordaan told Mining Weekly Online that the ferrochrome producer was considering the financial impact of participating in the programme, adding that the market would be informed once a final decision was made.
stressed that the initiative, along with a 25% electricity price hike scheduled for April, could reduce ferrochrome supply into the market and place upward pressure on pricing.
Last week, the Xstrata-Merafe chrome venture announced that it would assist Eskom by temporarily closing five of its furnaces.
In return, Eskom would buy-back the energy not consumed by these five furnaces until May 31.
said cost savings continued to be a focus point for the company, with initiatives under way across its smelting and mining operations.
"We are track to achieve our cost reduction targets, having achieved 27% of targeted production cost savings and we are on track to hit the target of 76c/lb in 2011 financial year production costs within the current financial year," he
added that the modification of the company's cogeneration plant would improve its energy efficiency by providing about 11% of its total energy requirements when in full production.
Meanwhile, production at IFM's Sky Chrome mine in the North West province, which started in June, was being ramped up according to plan, Jordaan
"IFL has seen genuine operational achievements during the half year, including the successful completion of the furnace roof rebuild on time, on budget and operating at a at availabilities in excess of 98%," he
pointed out that stronger sales reflected the company's success in embedding a diversified customer base across a range of regions, including in South East Asia and North America.
"The combination of solid operations, active marketing to a broader range of customers and cost savings should place IFM in a healthy position to take full advantage of the robust long-term outlook for stainless steel," he stated.
Amidst electricity price pressures and low inventory levels, the strength of the rand contributed to Jordaan's optimistic outlook for the year ahead.
"Despite challenges, the ferrochrome market shows recovery and we expect ore sales to increase," he