The company said it would reduce its fourth-quarter production of iron ore and ferrochrome, bringing its output for the year to less than in 2007.

The company has said that capital expenditure for the year would be significantly below the previously projected $1.7bn, and would be focused on efficiency rather than expansion projects.

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There is growing evidence that mining groups are being forced to cut back on capital expenditure as commodity prices tumble and demand slows.

Several high-cost zinc mines and aluminium smelters around the world have been shut down in recent months and large mining and metals companies – including Rio Tinto, Posco and Arcelor Mittal – have recently said they would cut their output or reconsider their expansion plans.