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SA mine production up for first time in six months

Mining “’ production
up for first time
in six months
Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 15 March 2010 – South Africa “’ the largest producer of platinum and fourth-biggest coal exporter “’ says output from its mines increased for the first time in six months in January as demand for commodities picked up along with a global economic recovery.

The latest mining production figures released here by Statistics South Africa showed that production had risen 7.7% in January from a year earlier “’ the first gain since July 2009.

Iron ore production increased by 24% and platinum group metals, including palladium and rhodium, climbed 17 %.

Commodity prices posted their biggest annual gain in four decades last year, based on the S&P GSCI Index, as consumption in China made up for weakness in developed nations. “Demand will continue to surprise as investors pump a record US$60 billion (R450 billion) into raw materials this year,” said Barclays Capital.

Gold output from South Africa fell 18%in January from a year earlier, the statistics office said. Diamond output jumped 59%, after slumping the previous month, as demand recovered and De Beers, the world’s biggest producer, reopened mines. Coal production rose 1.5% from a year earlier.