SOUTH Africa’s chrome ore industry has failed in its attempt to win an exemption from the Competition Commission that would have enabled it to discuss alternatives to an export tax controversially proposed by Cabinet last year.
The export tax is intended to boost the country’s ferrochrome industry which uses chrome ore supply. However, ChromeSA says it will only have short-term benefits and could potentially backfire in the long run.
It argues that alternative chrome ore producers have an excess supply that could be brought to bear in the wake of uncompetitive South African material. The majority of South African chrome ore exports are to China which it uses for its own ferrochrome sector.
“We remain adamant that a chrome ore export tax will be devastating for independent chrome ore producers who rely almost entirely on exports and who employ over 43,000 workers (direct and indirect jobs),” said ChromeSA.
ChromeSA, an industry association, represents the interests of Sibanye-Stillwater, Anglo American, Tharisa, and Northam Platinum among others.