Johannesburg - Merafe Resources [JSE:MRF]
, SA's largest ferrochrome producer, said on Tuesday first-half production fell 4% to 150 000 tonnes due to furnace refurbishments.
"The refurbishment activities largely focused on the more efficient Premus furnaces, resulting in lower efficiencies and increased production costs," the miner said in a statement.
Merafe, which operates a joint venture with London-listed Xstrata , said it had achieved an 8% increase in the benchmark ferrochrome price to $1.35 per pound in the second quarter.
The company said last week it expects to report headline earnings per share of between 3c to 4c for the six months to the end of June, compared with 7c in the comparison period.
Merafe said it would operate at around 50% of its capacity during the June-August winter months, due to market conditions and routine maintenance.
The company will report its interim results on August 2.
Shares in the company are down 34% so far this year, compared with a 0.17% rise in All Share [JSE:J203]