Operating context

Operating context

The global position of ferrochrome

Elements influencing the global demand for and pricing of ferrochrome

  • Global economic conditions
  • Exchange rates
  • Stainless steel demand
  • Growth of Chinese ferrochrome industry
  • Chrome ore exports

90% of the ferrochrome produced is used in stainless steel and specialty steels

Ferrochrome production and its role in stainless steel

Produced by high-temperature reduction (smelting) of chromite, ferrochrome contains iron, chrome, minor amounts of carbon and silicon, and impurities such as sulphur, phosphorous and titanium.

Chrome is a metallurgical marvel. It brings critical properties to the metals with which it is alloyed. Add it to carbon steel in the form of ferrochrome and the steel becomes ‘stainless’ – corrosion resistant, mechanically strong, heat resistant, hard wearing, shiny and glamorous. Stainless steel is used almost everywhere in modern life from nuclear reactors to exhaust pipes, architecture, kitchenware and a host of other applications.

Specialty steels produced for applications such as tools, injection moulds, camshafts, etc also derive the high mechanical strength, hardness and heat-resistance required from their chrome content.

    Our competitive advantage

    • Lowest-cost producer in South Africa
    • Flexibility provided by variety of cost effective technologies
    • 25% saving in energy consumption per tonne of alloy produced achieved as a result of major investments in energy efficiency (Lion Complex and two new pelletising and sintering plants)
    • Lion II has achieved further efficiencies
    • Significant chrome ore reserves and access to UG2


Corporate office

+27 (0) 11 783 4780
+27 (0) 11 783 4789