GABORONE – Botswana’s mining industry output declined alarmingly in the third quarter of 2015, with all the key sectors recording massive slumps except coal production which registered a growth rate of 18.6%, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) has revealed.
In a new report released to the media in Gaborone on Wednesday, acting Government Statistician Burton Mguni said the worst decline was recorded in the production of copper concentrates, which fell by 84% in the third quarter of 2015. It was the fourth consecutive drop in sector output, which fell by 69.7% in the third quarter of 2014.
Nickel-cobalt-matte production declined by 61.6% while salt production declined by 8.3%. Diamond production slumped by 33.4% on the back of mine shutdowns. Gold production slumped for the sixth consecutive quarter by 7.8%.
Silver production slumped to 0% following the shutdown of silver mining between the second and third quarters of 2015. The only positive news came from the coal and soda ash sector, which recorded production increases of 18.6% and 7.1% respectively at the end of 2015.
However, Mguni said the significant production decline recorded in key minerals which include diamonds, copper-nickel and cobalt had minimal effects on the country’s position on the global mining index, which remained healthy at 66%.
“Even though these three minerals had huge decreases when compared to that of diamond production, their impact on the year-on-year percentage change of the overall index is minimal as a result of their weight contribution to the overall index weight,” he said.