Xstrata will initiate the second phase of its Lion ferrochrome complex expansion in South Africa, which includes the building and commissioning of a 360,000t per annum capacity smelter.

Post expansion, the ferrochrome capacity of the Xstrata-Merafe complex will be increased to 2.3 million tons per annum.

The expansion will be carried out with an investment of $710m, including $100m for the development of the 1.2 million ROM ton per annum Magareng mine in the Thorncliffe mine complex.

Construction of the smelter will begin in the first quarter of 2011.