Why the OM Holdings (ASX:OMH) share price is rising today

The OM Holdings Limited (ASX: OMH) share price is rising this morning after the company provided investors with a business and operations update.

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The OM Holdings Limited (ASX: OMH) share price has lifted 1.39% in early trade this morning. This comes after the manganese producer provided a business and operations update.

At the time of writing, OM Holdings shares are swapping hands for 73 cents apiece. 

What’s moving the OM Holdings share price?

The OM Holdings share price has started in the green today on the back of the company’s latest update.

According to this morning’s release, OM Holdings advised that during COVID-19, its smelter plant in Qinzhou, China was turned offline. The facility conducts smelting operations and sinter ore production – a process whereby iron ore fines and other fine material enter a blast furnace.

The company said that while suspended operations continued from March until January this year, major maintenance work was undertaken at the site. This included upgrading one of its furnaces from 16.5 MVA to 25.5 MVA. OM Holdings noted that the new improvements will enable it to maximise production efficiency and increase total capacity at its Qinzhou Plant. Furthermore, the blast furnace can now either produce silicomanganese or high carbon ferromanganese.

Silicomanganese is used as a strong deoxidizer, which helps to improve the mechanical properties of various steel grades. Ferromanganese counteracts the bad effects of sulphur, thus increase the strength and hardness of stainless-steel products.

After completing trials, the company restarted its full operations for the upgraded furnace manganese ore sinter plant on 31 January 2021. The other remaining furnace is expected to recommence production sometime in the first-half of the financial year.

Once the facility is running at full capacity with both furnaces, OM Holdings estimates total production of 80,000 to 95,000 tonnes of manganese alloys, and 300,000 tonnes of sintered ore per annum.

Management commentary

OMH executive chair Mr Low Ngee Tong commented on the company’s prospects, saying:

As China remains the world’s largest producer and consumer of steel, this capacity upgrade of our Qinzhou plant will increase the Company’s smelting capability and create more synergies with our manganese ore distribution activities in China.

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