Pretoria, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 11 June 2010 – South Africa’s diamond and manganese ore output more than doubled in April from a year earlier as mining companies began reviving production which they had slowed down or halted during the global recession.
Revealing this in a report on its website, Statistics South Africa said that output of diamonds had surged 117% and manganese ore had jumped 104%. “It added that iron ore production had gained 26% and chrome ore 42%.
De Beers, BHP Billiton Limited. and Xstrata Plc idled output of metals and minerals after prices plummeted during the global recession, which cut demand for consumer goods from cars to jewellery. South Africa is the world’s biggest supplier of platinum, and has the largest reserves of manganese and chrome.
“Diamond prices have recovered satisfactorily and are close to 2008 average prices again,” local gem producer Trans Hex Group Limited said last week. Commodity prices traded an average of 24% higher in April than a year earlier, according to the Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index of futures prices.
De Beers “’ the world’s biggest producer of rough diamonds “’ cut output at mines in South Africa, Botswana, Namibia and Canada after prices for the gems halved during the six months from October 2008.
South Africa’s total mine production climbed for the fourth consecutive month in April, gaining 2.7%. Gold output fell 6.2% in April from a year earlier, and platinum group metals production declined 8.2%, according to the statistics agency’s report.
Revenue from mineral sales rose 6.7% to R22.8 billion rand in March from a year earlier, the agency said. Sales statistics lag a month behind production data.