South Africa’s cabinet has approved sweeping policies to lift the domestic ferrochrome industry including through an export tax on chrome ore.
While reading the cabinet statement, Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu said, “The interventions include the proposed introduction of the export tax on chrome ore, the usage of energy efficiency technologies on smelters, and the adoption of cogeneration and self-generation technologies,”
South Africa is the world’s biggest chrome producer and the mineral is a key ingredient in stainless steel, a crucial material for the automobile industry.
Last year, it supplied 12.5 million tonnes of chrome ore to China, which made up 83% of Chinese total chrome imports.
Glencore, Merage Resources, Tharisa, Jubilee Metals and Samancor Chrome are some of the companies that mine and process chrome in South Africa.
The nation’s economy suffered a contraction in the second quarter due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and stiff measures imposed by the government to stop its spread.
President Cyril Ramaphosa eased some of the lockdowns last month, and in early October released a COVID-19 recovery plan that he said will unlock more than $60 billion in investment in the next four years and create more than 800,000 jobs.