Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 26 May 2009 – South Africa’s gold output fell by 10% to 49 713.6 kg in the first quarter of 2009, compared with the fourth quarter of last year, according to a statement released by the country’s chamber of mines.
The statement added that, on a year-on-year basis, the rate of decline in gold production had been 4.8% in the first quarter of 2009. It went on to say that the first quarter of this year had been measured against a lower base in 2008, when South African gold mines had suffered a sharp drop in production after closing for several days in January last year owing to a national power shortage.
This year the mines don’t have the excuse of a power shortage that shut down South Africa’s mining industry for a week in January 2008, wreaking havoc with gross domestic product.
The decline has also come in a quarter when the rand gold price was nearing record highs.
South Africa’s overall gold output in 2008 fell to its lowest level in 86 years due to the power shortage and dwindling grades, which lowered it to becoming the world’s number three producer behind China and the United States.