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BHP Billiton to Cut Manganese Production

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BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP) is to temporarily cut manganese production at its Samancor operation, which is expected to reduce ore and alloy output by 21% and 23% respectively for 2009.  Weaker demand from the the steel industry have forced BHP to make the cuts.

BHP Billiton head  of ferrous and coal, Marcus Randolph said global market conditions were proving challenging for the steel industry and its raw material providers.

“Manganese ore and alloy are entirely dependent on the carbon steel industry and are therefore directly impacted by the current weak steel markets,” he said.

“We will continue to monitor the situation and when we see a recovery, given we are bringing forward essential major maintenance projects, we expect to be well placed to restart our full production alloy capacity.

“In ore, the development activities and rebuilding of depleted stocks allow us to react to any recovery in the market.

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