Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 14 May 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 March had dropped 17% below its level in March2007, due mainly to the ongoing effects of the nation-wide power shortage.
The latest release adds that gold production fell 11%, while non-gold output plunged by 18%.
“Curtailment of electricity to the mining industry has certainly had an impact,” said Chamber of Mines chief economist Roger Baxter. Stoppages resulting from mining accidents have also played a role in the production decline.
Seasonally adjusted total mining production for the first quarter of 2008 was down 8.3% on the same month in 2007, with gold output having fallen 10.1%
Most mines in South Africa were shut for five days in late January, and rationed afterwards to prevent state-run Eskom’s power network from collapsing. The utility has since been supplying the mines with 95% of normal; requirements.