South32, in its Quarterly Report, September 2020, states that the company did not produce any manganese alloy in the September 2020 quarter as its Metalloys manganese alloy smelter remained on care and maintenance.
South Africa Manganese saleable ore production increased by 55% (or 207kwmt) to 581kwmt in the September 2020 quarter as the operation returned to full capacity, following the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown in the prior quarter.
South32 took advantage of favourable market conditions by utilising higher cost trucking as an alternate route to market while rail logistics continued to normalise. While the company continues to monitor market conditions and the attractiveness of higher cost trucking, FY21 production guidance remains unchanged at 2,000kwmt.
Australia Manganese saleable ore production increased by 3% (or 26kwmt) to 880kwmt in the September 2020 quarter as favourable ore characteristics supported an improvement in primary concentrator output, more than offsetting lower volumes of its Premium Concentrate Ore (PC02) fines product.
PC02 fines contributed 9% of total production in the period. With its lower relative price realisations, PC02 contributed to an overall modest discount for company’s manganese ore sales to the high grade 44% index (note 10) during the September 2020 quarter.
While South32 continues to monitor market conditions and the potential impact from the wet season across the remainder of the year, FY21 production guidance remains unchanged at 3,500kwmt.
Manganese alloy saleable production decreased by 7% (or 2kt) to 27kt in the September 2020 quarter as one of the four furnaces at TEMCO remained offline.