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Report: Glencore considers bidding for Implats chrome interest in South Africa

Glencore Plc is mulling a bid for Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd.'s 65% stake in Impala Chrome Pty. Ltd., a chrome waste-retreatment operation in South Africa, Bloomberg News reported Jan. 31, citing two people familiar with the matter.

The operation produces more than 200,000 tonnes of chrome concentrate per annum from tailings, or waste material from platinum mining.

Impala published a tender for the stake sale in a newspaper in December 2016.

Glencore already has an agreement in place to purchase metal from Chrome Traders Processing (Pty.) Ltd., the company that owns 30% of the business controlled by Impala.

The mining and trading company also owns chrome operations in the country including the Klipfontein/Waterval mine, the Wonderkop ferrochrome plant and the Helena mine.

According to one of the sources who requested anonymity, Glencore is bullish on prices and is keen to grow its presence in the industry that supplies stainless steelmakers with the ingredient that prevents corrosion.

Impala spokesman Johan Theron declined to comment on Glencore specifically, saying only that it is "early in the process still and we entirely welcome all interested parties."

Standard Bank Group Ltd. is running the sales process and is preparing a shortlist of suitable bidders, the other source said.

Impala considers the operation noncore and wants to focus on its platinum mines.