SMM7, March 21 / PRNewswire-FirstCall-Asianet /-recently, when South32 released its fiscal 2020 results, South32 CEO Graham Kerr said, "our top priority is still to keep our employees safe and healthy, maintain reliable operations and support our community through the COVID-19 pandemic." Despite the health crisis, we have achieved excellent operating results, as highlighted by the annual production records of alumina in Brazil, Hillside Aluminium and the Manganese Mine in Australia. We continue to see good demand for our products, with sales exceeding production in most of our business. Looking ahead, we will continue to focus on reducing controllable costs, managing counterparty and supply chain risks, and optimizing working capital to ensure that the business remains resilient during potentially large fluctuations and falling commodity prices.
According to the report, the output of manganese ore in South322020 fiscal year 5,348 thousand wet tons (kwmt), dropped 3 percent compared with the same period in 2019, and manganese alloy 163 thousand tons (kt), dropped 27 percent compared with the same period last year.
Australia's manganese saleable ore production rose 4 per cent (or 121kwmt) in fiscal year 2020 to a record 3470kwt, and the business returned to full capacity following a temporary roster change that was cancelled due to quarterly COVID-19 restrictions in June 2020. In the June quarter of 2020, manganese ore sales increased by 20% because we took advantage of favorable market conditions and shipments decreased compared with the previous quarter.
Our average realised price for external sales of Australian ore is 7% lower than the high-grade 44% manganese lump ore index 19 in FY20, as we responded to market demand by increasing sales of high-quality concentrates (PC02) and other secondary products. Our low-cost PC02 circuits continue to operate beyond their design capacity, contributing 12% of total production in FY20 (FY19: 10%). The manganese content of our PC02 fine powder product is about 40%. If we refer to the 44% manganese lump ore index of high grade, it will lead to a discount on grade and product type. With one of TEMCO's four furnaces offline, salable production of manganese alloys fell 29% (or 44kt) to 110kt in fiscal year 20.
South Africa business:
South Africa's manganese saleable ore production fell 14% (or 309kwmt) to 1878 kwt in fiscal 2020 due to our response to market weakness in the first half of December 2019, reducing the use of high-cost trucks and extending the maintenance of underground Wessels mines.
In addition, during the national COVID-19 locking period in the June quarter of 2020, both the open-pit Mamatwan mine and the Wessels underground mine underwent temporary maintenance and maintenance, followed by the resumption of full capacity production with locking restrictions lifted.
Sales fell 34% in the June quarter of 2020, as sales were also affected by disruptions in the shared logistics infrastructure associated with COVID-19. Despite the lifting of restrictions, we will continue to address the changing environment and its potential to affect our operations and logistics chain. In fiscal year 20, the salable production of manganese alloys fell by 23% (or 16kt) to 53kt.
Considering the future economic feasibility of Metalloys, we and our joint venture partners decided to place the smelter under temporary maintenance and maintenance.
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