SA mining production falls 12.7%

8th December 2011 By: Mariaan Webb - Creamer Media Deputy Editor Online

JOHANNESBURG ( − South Africa’s mining production contracted sharply in October, falling by 12.7% year-on-year, data released by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) showed on Thursday.

The decline comes on top of a revised 3.9% contraction in September, which the Nedbank Economic Unit said suggested that the impact of weaker global growth was filtering through to the domestic economy.

Mining production declined by 4.5% year-on-year in July, which was followed by another contraction of 3.7% in August.

“The outlook for the mining sector remains weak, constrained by poor global growth prospects, as well as domestic constraints. The rand remains firm despite its recent bout of weakness and it is not likely to boost export competitiveness considerably, while logistical problems, particularly with transport and energy capacity continue to hurt the sector,” Nedbank stated.

Platinum-group metals production, which makes up the largest portion of South Africa’s total mining output, fell by 27.3% year-on-year.

Other big decreases were registered in nickel and copper, with output falling 35% and 37%, respectively. Coal output was 9% weaker, diamond production dropped 5% and gold production fell 3.3%.

Iron-ore production registered an increase of 10.4%, Stats SA reported.