A typical SA mining
operation – plant in the
foreground and open pit
in the background
Pretoria, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 14 March, 2008 – Mining output in South Africa – the world’s biggest precious metals producer – fell by close to 11% year-on-year in January 2008, and by almost 4% in the three months ended 31 January 2008, compared with the previous quarter.

Releasing the new production figures here yesterday, Statistics South Africa pointed out that the current national power crisis which had led to mine shaft closures had contributed to the 10,7% decrease in overall mining production for January 2008, compared with January 2007. Gold production decreased by 16.5% for the month of January 2008 compared with January 2007, and by 5% compared with December 2007.

The report went on to reveal that total mining production for the three months ended January 2008 had decreased by 5.5% compared with the quarter ended January 2007.

The total value of mineral sales was 16.6% higher in 2007 than in 2006, according to Statistics South Africa, although this rate of increase was less than half the 35.5% rise achieved for 2006.

The major contributors to the annual increase of 16,6% in 2007, according to the report, were PGMs (7,5 percentage points or R14.45 billion), coal (2,7 percentage points or R5.31 billion), iron ore (1,8 percentage points or R3.5 billion), and gold (1,3 percentage points or R2.6 billion).

The total actual value of mineral sales at current prices for the fourth quarter of 2007 rose by 8.7% from the fourth quarter of 2006. The major contributors here were PGMs (3.2 percentage points or R1.725 billion), iron ore (2.3 percentage points or R1.232 billion), and coal (2.0 percentage points or R1. 102 billion).