Pretoria, South Africa — 07 June 2012 – Mineral output in South Africa dropped across the board in April this year, according to the latest statistics released by Statistics South Africa.

The latest StatsOnline bulletin reveals that South Africa’s gold output fell by 12.8% in volume in April, while total mineral production was down 10.6%, compared with the same month last year. Production of non-gold minerals was 10.4% lower, it added.

Of particular note was platinum group metal output, which contracted by 28% year-on-year as the sector tried to recover from the impact of a government safety blitz, and as Impala Platinum’s Rustenburg operation continued a ramp-up from a six-week illegal strike in March.

The world’s second largest producer of the precious metal lost 120,000 ounces of output due to the strike in the first quarter of the year, and only expected its Rustenburg operations to return to pre-strike levels this month.
Seasonally adjusted mining production decreased by 7.6% for the three months ended April 2012, compared with the three months ended January 2012. The most significant downward contribution to the three-month percentage change came from PGMs.

Actual mining production decreased by 10.5% for the three months ended April 2012, compared with the three months ended April 2011.

The seasonally adjusted value of mineral sales at current prices reflected a decrease of 6.5% in the first quarter of 2012 compared with the fourth quarter of 2011. Once again, the fall of 6.5% (-R6 636.6 million) was mainly due to a decrease in the sales value of PGMs.).

Source: Statistics South Africa. For more information, click here.