South Africa's Assmang Ltd, Taiwan's China Steel Corp and Japan's Sumitomo Corp plan to build a manganese alloy smelting facility in Sarawak to cater to the growing Asian market. The project, which will benefit from a stable and low-cost electricity supply in Sarawak due to the hydropower generation, is expected to produce about 169,000 tonnes of manganese alloy annually.
- Sumitomo said the three companies have completed a feasibility study of the project and will continue to discuss details. "Construction work is expected to begin in early 2014 and will be completed in 2016 when alloy production begins," Sumitomo said in a statement.
- Manganese alloys are mainly used for steel production to improve the strength, toughness and wear resistance of steel. Demand for manganese steel alloy is expected to rise as Asian economies continue to grow. Sumitomo said the three parties are currently discussing equity participation in the production.
- Jointly controlled by Assore Ltd and African Rainbow Minerals Ltd (ARM), Assmang, which produces and sells manganese ore and manganese alloys in South Africa, will supply manganese ore for the project in Sarawak. (BT)