South32 achieves record monthly output at its South African manganese operations

25th July 2022

By: Marleny Arnoldi

Deputy Editor Online


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Diversified miner South32’s South African manganese operations produced 2.07-million tonnes of ore for the financial year ended June 30 – a similar level to that produced in the 2021 financial year.

The company says it produced higher volumes of premium material from its openpit Mamatwan manganese mine, in the Northern Cape, in the year under review, which offset the impact of scheduled maintenance in the March quarter.

A record 625 000 t of ore was produced by the mine in June – a 60% year-on-year increase.

The mine beat South32’s yearly guidance expectation by 3%.

The South African operations’ manganese sales increased by 7% year-on-year to 2.17-million tonnes.

South32 reports that its South African manganese operation managed a 17% increase in sales for the June quarter, owing to slight improvements in the country’s rail and port networks, which have been experiencing backlogs, infrastructure damage and a scourge in theft incidents in recent years.

South32 says it continues to optimise its product mix to take advantage of favourable market conditions, realising a premium of about 18% to the medium grade 37% manganese lump ore index, on a volume weighted basis across the 2022 financial year.

Guidance for the South African manganese operation has been set at two-million tonnes for the 2023 financial year.

Meanwhile, production at South32’s Hillside aluminium smelter in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province, was also at a similar level to the prior financial year, at 714 000 t.

Notably, the smelter achieved 99% of guidance, despite the impact of more intensive load-shedding in the period.

The company expects more volumes and carbon reduction benefits to come through, following implementation of AP3XLE energy efficiency technology on site in June.

South32 says Hillside posted 11% higher sales in the year under review, at 713 000 t, as inventory is returning to normalised levels – the company had to undertake alternative discharge and cargo shipping options, to mitigate against poor third-party port performance and ongoing shipping congestion.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online




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