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Mining production shows biggest drop in a decade

Mining production
continues decline
Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 14 April 2009 – Mining production in South Africa – the world’s biggest producer of platinum and third-biggest gold producer – fell by the most in more than a decade in February, following the general drop in metal and diamond prices.

The latest mining production figures released by Statistics South Africa showed that output had dropped by 12.8% in February, compared to the same month’s production in 2008. The lower output could be attributed largely to negative contributions from diamonds, which fell by 6.7%, coal which dropped 4%, and chromium, which showed a 1.1% decline.

While total output had dropped 12.8% in February, figures from Stats SA showed that gold production had increased by 2.7% year-on-year. Between January and February alone, gold output risen by 0.4%.

The Statistics South Africa statement went on to reveal that, on a seasonal adjustment basis, the total mining output for the three months ended February 2009 had fallen by 11.9%, compared to the previous three months.
The statement added that the actual estimated total value of mineral sales, at current prices, for the three months ended January 2009 increased by 2.5%, compared with the three months ended January 2008.

The most significant contributors to this increase were coal, with 10.4% or R6.22-billion; iron-ore at 4.9%, or R2.95-billion; gold at 3.3% or R1.99-billion; and manganese ore at 2.6% or R1.56-billion.