South Africa manganese (60% share) saleable ore production increased by 11% (or 162kwmt) to 1,666kwmt in the nine months ended March 2021, as the company increased volumes of higher quality premium material from its Mamatwan mine and lifted its use of opportunistic, higher cost trucking.
Ore production in the March 2021 quarter was 15% higher following completion of planned maintenance at the Mamatwan mine in the prior quarter. March 2021 quarter ore sales volumes declined by 15%, with third party rail logistics impacted by wet weather and shipments slipping into the June 2021 quarter following the declaration of force majeure by Transnet.
FY21 production guidance has been increased by 10% to 2,200kwmt as South32 continues to respond to market conditions by utilising higher cost trucking capacity. South32 will continue to monitor market demand and the potential for further disruption due to adverse weather.
South32 did not produce any manganese alloy in the nine months ended March 2021 in South Africa as its Metalloys smelter remained on care and maintenance.
AUSTRALIA MANGANESE (60% SHARE)
Australia Manganese saleable ore production increased by 2% (or 47kwmt) to a record 2,663kwmt in the nine months ended March 2021. The primary concentrator continued to achieve strong output despite the impact of the wet season in the March 2021 quarter, while output from the PC02 circuit remained above nameplate capacity, contributing 10% of total production (9M YTD20: 11%).
While South32 continues to monitor the potential for further impact from the wet season, FY21 production guidance remains unchanged at 3,500kwmt. South32 did not produce any manganese alloy in the March 2021 quarter following our divestment of the TEMCO manganese alloy smelter.