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Report: South32 mulling options including closing Temco manganese alloy smelter

South32 Ltd. may close, mothball or sell its Temco manganese alloy smelter in Tasmania, Australia, The Australian reported Oct. 16.

The state government reportedly offered incentives to keep the smelter open. South32 told the newspaper that it has not made any decision, although the company is reportedly expected to make an announcement Oct. 17 when it releases quarterly results.

Temco employs about 300 people, the report said. The smelter uses ore shipped from the company's Groote Eylandt operation in Northern Territory, Australia, to produce ferromanganese, according to South32's website. Most of Temco's alloy output is exported to Asia and North America, while the rest is sold in Australia and New Zealand.

Citing a confidential report, The Australian said a potential closure may jeopardize the viability of 10 proposed wind farms in the state as the smelter consumes about 100 MW of power, or about 14.5% of all energy use by the state's industrial power customers.