CAPE TOWN, South Africa BHP Billiton Plcs South African manganese assets are not up for sale, Xolani Mkhwanazi, chairman of the companys South African unit, told AMM sister publication Metal Bulletin.
The companys M14 furnace expansion at its Metalloys manganese project demonstrates its commitment to remaining in South Africa, Mkhwanazi said in his presentation to attendees at African Mining Indaba in Cape Town Feb. 6.
Asked by Metal Bulletin whether the South African manganese assets would remain within BHP, he branded speculation of a sale as "complete rubbish."
Late last year, BHP appointed Citigroup Inc. to handle the sale of its Temco manganese alloys plant in Tasmania, Australia (amm.com, Nov. 16). At the time, market participants had suggested BHP might eventually divest all manganese projects as part of its strategy to offload noncore assets.
BHP had previously declined to comment on the future of its South African manganese unit.
A version of this article was first published by AMM sister publication Metal Bulletin.