Speciality chemicals company Lanxess has announced plans to sell its stake in South Africa’s Rustenburg Chrome Mine (RCM) to Clover Alloys. The transaction is expected to be completed late next year. The sale follow’s Lanxess’ earlier divestment away from its chromium tanning salts plant in Merebank, which was sold to the Chinese company Brother Enterprises.
Clover Alloys operates two third-party ore/waste processing plants for the production of metallurgical- and speciality-grade chromium concentrates. Through the purchase of RCM, Clover Alloys gains access to captive ore feed.
Lanxess maintains its sodium dichromate and chromic acid plant in Newcastle, South Africa, as the company focusses on higher value chromium chemicals. After the sale, the plant will rely on third-party offtake agreements of chemical-grade ores.
The price premium of speciality-grade chromium ores has eroded rapidly over 2019. Foundry- and refractory-grade ores declined from a 70% premium over metallurgical-grade concentrates in December 2018 to 45% by October 2019, while chemical-grade concentrates declined from a 50% premium to just 8% over the same period.
Roskill’s 15th edition of the Chromium Market Outlook to 2029 was published in June 2019. The second update with analysis of recent trends and updated forecasts will be published in December. To download the brochure and sample pages for the report, or to access further information click here.