The global position of ferrochrome
Elements influencing the global demand for and pricing of ferrochrome
- Global economic conditions
- Exchange rates
- Stainless steel demand
- Growth of Chinese ferrochrome industry
- Chrome ore exports
90% of the ferrochrome produced is used in stainless steel and specialty steels
The role of ferrochrome in stainless steel
Produced by high-temperature reduction (smelting) of chromite, ferrochrome contains iron, chrome, minor amounts of carbon and silicon and impurities such as sulphur, phosphorous and titanium.
Chrome is a metallurgical marvel. It brings amazing properties to the metals with which it is alloyed. Add it to carbon steel in the form of ferrochrome and the steel becomes ‘stainless’ – corrosion resistant, mechanically strong, heat resistant, hard wearing, shiny and glamorous. Stainless steel is used everywhere in modern life from nuclear reactors to exhaust pipes, architecture, kitchenware and a host of other applications.
Specialty steels produced for applications such as tools, injection moulds, camshafts, etc, also derive the high mechanical strength, hardness and heat-resistance required from their chrome content.
- Lowest-cost producer in South Africa
- Flexibility provided by variety of cost effective technologies
- 25% saving in energy consumption per tonne of alloy produced achieved as a result of major investments in energy efficiency (Lion Complex and two new pelletising and sintering plants)
- Lion II project ramp up in 2015 will achieve further energy efficiencies
- Significant chrome ore reserves and access to UG2