Assmang produces refined ferro-manganese at its Cato Ridge Alloys plant in the eastern province of KwaZulu-Natal and halted production at the start of January
. The company also produces high-carbon ferro-manganese, but production was unaffected.
The force majeure
declaration was made in the first week of 2021 after it became clear there would be a shortage of oxygen due to supplies being diverted to hospitals to treat Covid-19 patients. Oxygen is needed in medium-carbon and low-carbon ferro-manganese production to reduce the carbon content.
"Assmang restarted production last week and will increase production of medium-carbon ferro-manganese this month," the source said. "Fortunately, the worst of the pandemic seems to have passed, national restrictions have been eased and Assmang can utilize oxygen in its production of refined ferro-manganese again."