Transalloys is a well-recognized supplier of silicomanganese globally, and the only silicomanganese producer in South Africa. The production plant is situated 14 km west of eMalahleni (Witbank) and approximately 90 km east of Pretoria, in the Mpumalanga Province. Manganese ore used in the production process comes from the Northern Cape Province of South Africa, which is known to contain 75% of the world’s identified manganese ore reserves.
The company was established in 2007 when the Renova Group, a Russian diversified investment holding, acquired the plant. Under Renova’s strategic leadership and as a result of the concerted effort by the Transalloys’ management team and the employees, the productivity and output of the plant were increased by 50% without the addition of any additional smelting capacity. The plant has the capacity to produce approximately 180 000 tonnes of silicomanganese per annum. In 2018 Renova divested 51% of its interest in Transalloys to Israeli and Swiss investors.
The plant itself dates back to the mid-1960’s when the first two furnaces were built. Currently, there are 5 submerged arc furnaces, with capacity ranging between 22 and 48 MVA. Transalloys has completed the construction and commissioning of a UHT oxygen blown converter during Q3 of 2020. Typically, one of the SiMn furnaces is periodically converted to HCFeMn production, which serves as feedstock to the converter for conversion to MCFeMn, which is then produced on a campaign basis.
The standard grade silicomanganese contains a minimum of 16.5% of silicon, 65 to 67% of manganese and a maximum of 2% carbon. Medium carbon ferromanganese contains a minimum of 80 % manganese, less than 1.5 % carbon and less than 1.0 % silicon.