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Oman's Gulf Mining to triple high carbon ferrochrome capacity by 2020

Tokyo — Oman's Gulf Mining plans to triple its high-carbon ferrochrome productioncapacity by 2020 amid strong demand, Chief Executive Officer Mohammed AlShabibi said Thursday.

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The current capacity of 50,000 mt/year, will be expanded to 150,000mt/year before 2020. The expansion schedule will depend on the launch of a newpower plant in the Sohar area, where Gulf Mining operates, Shabibi said.

Around 30% of high-carbon ferrochrome production cost is power, he added.

"We have the government approvals, we have everything in place, justwaiting for the power plant," he said.

The new power plant is expected to start operation in 2017-18. Gulf Mining is completely self-sufficient on chrome ore feedstock, whichtakes 30%-40% of cost of producers who rely on third party supplies.

Gulf Mining operates 17 mines in Oman, of which 12 are in production. "Before we were importing ore from South Africa and Turkey, but now weare getting a new kind of ore, our own 56%-59% chromite. The mines havedeposit for 30-40 years," he said.

Gulf Mining ferrochrome productions are for exports, mainly to Europe andChina, on long term contracts as well as on a spot basis. Chrome ore isexported to China and India.

--Mayumi Watanabe,

--Edited by Haripriya Banerjee,