MINING PRODUCTION

South Africa’s mining production was down 28.2% year-on-year in June 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown regulations, which have had an extensive impact on economic activity.

This is according to the latest figures released by Statistics South Africa on 13 August 2020.

Read more: South African mining production takes a pounding during COVID-19 lockdown

Mining production in May was down 29.8%, with June recording a slight increase in production of 1.6% compared to the previous month, while seasonally adjusted mining production decreased by 1.4% in June 2020 compared with May 2020. This followed month-on-month changes of 46.6% in May 2020 and -37.8% in April 2020.

April was the hardest hit month, recording a plummet in production of 47.3% year-on-year the first full month of Level 5 lockdown restrictions in the country since they were first implemented on 27 March. During lockdown Level 5, all mines except those supplying coal to Eskom were closed or placed on care and maintenance.

The largest negative contributors in June were:

  • PGMs, which was down by 42.5% and contributing -10.6 percentage points;
  • Iron ore, which was down 54.2% and contributing -6.7 percentage points;
  • Coal, which was down 10.9% and contributing -2.7 percentage points; and
  • ‘Other’ non-metallic minerals, which was down by 38.2% and contributing -2.4 percentage points.

Seasonally adjusted mining production decreased by 30.2% in the second quarter of 2020 compared with the first quarter of 2020.

The largest contributors were PGMs, which was 43.1% lower and contributing -10.4 percentage points, gold, which was 37% lower and contributing -5.0 percentage points), iron ore , which was 51.2% lower and contributing -4.9 percentage points), chromium ore, which was 56.8% lower and contributing -2.3 percentage points) and coal, which was 7.8% lower and contributing -2.1 percentage points.

Mineral sales for June

Mineral sales decreased by 14.2% year-on-year in June 2020. The largest contributors were:

  • Gold – Down by 45% and contributing -5.5 percentage points;
  • Coal – Down 9.9% and contributing -2.4 percentage points;
  • ‘Other’ non-metallic minerals – Down 26.5% and contributing -1.2 percentage points; and
  • PGMs – Down 4.5% and contributing -1.1 percentage points).

Seasonally adjusted mineral sales at current prices decreased by 5.1% in June 2020 compared with May 2020. This followed month-on-month changes of 27.9% in May 2020 and -37% in April 2020.

In the second quarter of 2020 the seasonally adjusted value of mineral sales at current prices was 28.5% lower compared with the first quarter of 2020.

South Africa is currently on lockdown Level 3 – allowing most mining operations to resume.