Impose $100/t raw chrome [South Africa] duty soonest, Ruukki urges – by Martin Creamer (MineingWeekly.com – March 30, 2012)

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JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – South African ferrochrome aspirant Ruukki has urged the South African government to impose a $100/t duty on the export of raw chrome from South Africa with the utmost urgency.
 
Speaking at an industry conference in Hong Kong, Ruukki enterprise director Dr Danko Konchar called for industry consolidation to protect jobs and maximise South Africa’s chrome resource endowment.
 
Ruukki currently exports raw chrome directly to China and sells a diverse range of chrome products internantionally into the the stanles steel and steel sectors. His plea follows years of requests to government to halt the South African ferrochrome industry’s demise in the face of rising Chinese production from raw South Africa chrome ore.
 
Konchar told the conference that the fundamental challenge for South Africa was to create a competitive ferrochrome industry capable of protecting, sustaining and creating jobs while growing its global market share.
 
In the past year both of these objectives have come under threat. The South African ferrochrome industry currently employs more than 200 000 people and contributes R42-billion to South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP).
 
South Africa’s share of the global ferrochrome market has fallen from 50% to 42% between 2001 and 2010 and the worrying trend was set to continue unless urgent action was taken to prevent a predicted fall to 36%.
 
While that was under way, China’s market share had grown from 5% to 25% and was forecast to increase further.
 
The curbing of unbeneficiated chrome ore exports to China was critical to reversing the decline in South Africa’s global market share and jobs.
 
Ruukki supported the current industry initiative that sought to form a partnership between government and chrome producers to find long-term sustainable interventions.
 
Konchar urged the $100 duty imposition “as soon as possible” in order to encourage more beneficiation of chrome ore within South Africa, thereby boosting domestic ferrochrome production and yielding additional significant socioeconomic benefits for the country.
 
Similar duty regimes had been very successful in India and Kazakhstan and it was vital that the industry and government start a working group immediately.
 
Another initiative that requires closer investigation was the possible establishment of a sales and marketing company to regulate the export of chrome ore, which had been successful in other markets, such as the oil industry.
 
Export quotas could be directly beneficiation linked.
 
Alongside these two initiatives, Ruukki believed industry consolidation was also necessary.
 
For the rest of this article, please go to the MiningWeekly.com website: http://www.miningweekly.com/article/impose-100t-raw-chrome-duty-soonest-ruukki-urges-2012-03-30

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