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Johannesburg, South Africa — 16 April 2012 – South Africa’s mining output fell sharply in volume terms in February, highlighting the impact of a government safety drive that has slowed production, as well as a crippling strike at the world’s biggest platinum mine.

Quoting Reuters, Miningmx reports that production of platinum group metals (PGMs) fell 47.6% while gold output dropped by 11.5% in volume terms in February. Total mineral production was down 14.5% compared with the same month last year, according Statistics South Africa data.

An illegal six-week strike at the massive Rustenburg operations of Impala Platinum, the world’s second largest producer of the precious metal, was the main cause of the sharp PGM decline.

The strike cost Implats 120,000oz in lost output and effectively cut 15% of global supply for several weeks.

In addition, a government drive to reduce mining deaths has led to more inspections that shut shafts and cut production.

South African safety stoppages cost world No. 3 gold producer AngloGold Ashanti 76,000oz of lost production in the first three months of 2012, more than for the whole of last year, the company said in a recent trading statement.

Source: Miningmx. For more information, click here.