Pretoria, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 12 November 2010 – Latest statistics show that South African production of platinum group metals surged 46% in September as price gains spurred output, and after a labour strike at Impala Platinum Holdings Limited had cut shipments the last year.
Revealing this in its latest production report, Statistics SA said the country’s total output of mined commodities had risen 12%.
Bloomberg reports that South Africa, with more than three-quarters of the world’s platinum reserves, is expanding extraction of the metal as an increase in demand from car and jewellery makers boosts prices.
Platinum group metals also include iridium, osmiridium, palladium, rhodium, ruthenium and osmium.
Platinum prices in London jumped 23% in September from a year earlier, while Palladium has rallied 75% this year, said Statistics SA said.
South Africa’s September gold output fell 4%, even after sales rose 28% in August from a year earlier. Production of the precious metal is becoming more costly and more difficult as South African mines, already the deepest in the world, reach further into the earth.
Gold prices have risen 29% this year. The metal is heading for its 10th annual gain “’ the longest winning streak since at least 1920 “’ as investors seek an alternative asset to protect against the debasement of currencies.
South Africa’s chromium and manganese ore output advanced 32% in September, while nickel production climbed 24%. Manganese ore sales almost quadrupled, according to the data.