The only highlight was that the sector showed signs of recovery in December on the previous month, the South African Chamber of Mines said.
It confirmed that December mining production improved on mining production in November month with iron ore rising by 13%, coal by 4.8%, building materials by 4.1%, chrome by 4.1%, nickel by 4%, gold by 2.7% and other metals by 8%.
Henk Langenhoven, chief economist of the Chamber of Mines, said it was almost impossible to determine the link between commodity prices and the production of the same commodities in South Africa.
“There seems to be some ‘green shoots’ evident in the performance of the sector, although the latest production data shows just how difficult the process of recovery will be.
“In conclusion, the latest data confirms the disappointments of 2016, but also shows signs of a better 2017, ‘albeit diverse’,” said Langenhoven.