DEMAND FOR ANTHRACITE
South Africa exhibits a unique demand profile.
GLOBAL ANTHRACITE DEMAND BY USE/APPLICATION
Global annual demand in 2016 for metallurgical anthracite is estimated to be 115Mt, with the ferrous sector accounting for over 80%.
SOUTH AFRICAN ANTHRACITE DEMAND BY INDUSTRY
By comparison South Africa’s anthracite demand in 2016 was 2.1Mt of which 98% was consumed by the non-ferrous sectors.
SOUTH AFRICAN ANTHRACITE PRODUCTION
MINE CLOSURES, DECLINING PRODUCTION, DETERIORATING QUALITY AND RISING COSTS
The industry decline is occurring in an environment of increasing demand from a globally competitive ferroalloy industry driven by a lack of viable anthracite projects – RAC is the last known long-life, high quality anthracite project in South Africa.
- The declining production profile is attributable to the depletion of viable resources, growing geological complexity of established mines and challenging quality.
- Ferrochrome, electrode paste, ilmenite and calcium carbide markets are particularly sensitive to impurities and require Sulphur<1%, and phosphorous <0.015%. At least one major competitor can no longer consistently provide this specification.
- The local ferrochrome market has been accepting up to 18-19% ash in order to keep low impurity mines viable.
- High sulphur/phosphorous mines are dependent upon the ferromanganese and export markets.
- All producers are benefiting from the growing market for exports of up to 35% ash anthracitic coal.
- No significant new projects or expansions are scheduled in South Africa.