Power – a key factor
behind the drop in
SA mining production
 
Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 11 April 2008 – Total mining production in South Africa – the world’s biggest precious metals producer – is continuing its downward trend.

Releasing the latest production figures here yesterday, Statistics South Africa revealed that the country’s overall mining output in February had dropped 7.3% below its level in February 2007. This was due mainly to a 28.2% decline in local gold production, while non-gold production had fallen only 3.2%.
 
This drop in February production followed January’s 10.7% decline in mining output, with gold falling by 16.5%, PGMs by 15.9%, and coal by 12.5%.

State-owned power utility Eskom ran out of excess capacity early this year, and was forced to cut power to mines in late January, bringing the mining industry to a standstill for five days. The mines then operated at a 90%-level until March, when Eskom lifted its power supply to the industry to 95%.

The latest statistics also show that total seasonally adjusted value of mineral sales at current prices for the three months ended January 2008 reflected an increase of 11,9%, compared with the previous three months. This increase of 11.9% (R6 401.8 million) can be attributed to an increase of 14.5% in the sale of non-gold minerals.