File picture: Reuters.

A joint-venture between South African ferrochrome producer Merafe Resources and London-listed Xstrata will shut five of 20 furnaces between January and March next year to help power utility Eskom manage a tight electricity supply.

Merafe said in a statement on Wednesday the shutdown will result in a production loss of 100,000 tonnes but added the arrangement “will be mutually beneficial to Eskom and the venture and will not result in job losses at these furnaces.” - Reuters