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Production down, mineral sales up

A typical South
African mine
Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 10 July 2008 – Total mining production in South Africa – the world’s biggest precious metals producer – is continuing its downward trend, but mineral prices are riding high.
Releasing latest production figures here today, Statistics South Africa revealed that the country’s overall mining output for the three months ended May 2008 had decreased to 6.4% below the same period in 2007, and was 1.5% down on the previous quarter, mainly influenced by reported disruptions in the first quarter.

This decrease of 1.5% was due to a drop of 2.1% in the production of non-gold minerals – particularly the production of platinum group metals (-3.5 percentage points). However, diamonds contributed positively (+1.6 percentage points) to the 1.5% decrease.

Actual total mining production for May 2008 increased slightly by 0.6% compared to May 2007, while gold production decreased by 11.6% in the same period.

The statement added that the total seasonally adjusted value of mineral sales at current prices for the three months ended April 2008 had reflected an increase of 24.4% (R14 762.8 million)above the previous three months. Thisincrease can be attributed to a rise of 25.3% (R12 881.8 million) in the sale of non-gold minerals and 19.9% (R1 881.0 million) in the sale of gold.

The actual total value of mineral sales at current prices for the three months ended April 2008 increased by 33.4% compared to the three months ended April 2007. The major contributors to this 33.4% year-on-year increase were PGMs (9.6 percentage points or R5 209.1 million), coal (9.1 percentage points or R4 940.8 million), manganese ore (5.9 percentage points or R3 105.1 million) and iron ore (2.9 percentage points or R1 592.0 million).