Furthermore, the rapid industrialisation of China and India has boosted the demand for steel along with a greater demand for ferrochrome.
"The outlook for ferrochrome and steel is expected to remain bullish, with rising demand for the metal on the one hand and constrained supply sources on the other," says Frost & Sullivan metals & mining analyst Wonder Nyanjowa. "These global demand and supply imbalances have triggered significant investor interest in South Africa's ferrochrome and manganese mining industry."
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (frost.com), A Strategic Analysis of South Africa's Ferrochrome and Manganese Mining Industry, finds that South Africa has been a leading participant in the world ferrochrome industry for more than a century owing to the abundance of chromium and manganese ore and relatively low-cost electricity.
If you are interested in more information on this study, please send an email to Patrick Cairns, Corporate Communications, at patrick.cairns[.]frost.com, with your full name, company name, title, telephone number, company email address, company website, city, state and country.
"The global steel industry registered a phenomenal growth rate of approximately 7 per cent between 2000 and 2007, compared to an average of 1.9 per cent between 1990 and 1999," notes Nyanjowa. "The demand for steel in the infrastructure, automotive and construction industries worldwide has led to a dramatic increase in the demand for ferrochrome, the metal used to improve the quality and resistance to corrosion properties of steel."
South Africa will remain the world's largest ferrochrome producer, with over 72 per cent of global chrome deposits concentrated on the Bushveld Igneous Complex (BIC). The country also boasts the world's highest smelting capacity through its over 50 smelters.
However, the South African ferrochrome and manganese mining industry continues to be vulnerable to the adverse effects of economic cycles as well as electricity and skills shortages. The global economic downturn caused a significant reduction in the demand for steel and ferrochrome.
The country also faces significant internal challenges.
"Although South Africa has the most developed and modern infrastructure network in the African continent, the country's road, ports and rail systems are fraught with inefficiencies that have resulted in huge transportation and logistical costs for ferrochrome producers," explains Nyanjowa. "There is a dearth of wagons and capacity to swiftly transport ferrochrome to the country's ports, whilst delays have also become a problem at the ports of exit."
A Strategic Analysis of South Africa's Ferrochrome and Manganese Mining Industry is part of the Chemicals & Materials Growth Partnership Services programme, which also includes research in the following markets: South Africa's Gold Mining Industry, South Africa's Coal Mining Industry, South Africa's Platinum Group Metals Mining Industry, and Diamond Mining Industry in Central and Southern Africa. All research services included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.
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A Strategic Analysis of South Africa's Ferrochrome and Manganese Mining Industry / M462