A typical South
African mine
 
Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 12 September 2008 – Total mining production in South Africa – the world’s biggest precious metals producer –has continued its upward trend for the second quarter in succession, and mineral prices have risen even further.

Releasing latest production figures here, Statistics South Africa revealed that the country’s overall mining output for the three months ended July 2008, after seasonal adjustment, had increased 1.3% above the previous three months, driven mainly by a 2,2% rise in the production of gold, followed by an increase of 1.2% in the output of non-gold minerals. The division that made the highest contribution to the seasonally adjusted increase of 1.3% was diamonds (contributing 1.2 percentage points), followed by iron ore (0.6 of a percentage point). Coal was the only significant negative contributor (-0.9 of a percentage point).

Total mining production for the three months ended July 2008 decreased by 6.6%, however, compared with the three months ended July 2007. Actual total mining production for the month of July 2008 decreased 12.6% below July 2007output, with gold production and non-gold minerals dropping by 16.4% and 12.0% respectively. In July 2008 platinum group metals (PGMs) recorded a substantial decrease in actual production of 32.8%, as opposed to July 2007. This was attributed mainly to deferred maintenance which would normally have occurred in the first half of the year.

Statistics South Africa added that the total seasonally adjusted value of mineral sales at current prices for the three months ended June 2008 had reflected an increase of 17.0% above the first quarter of 2008.

This increase of 17,0% (R11 704,8 million) can be attributed to rises of 18.0% (R10 520.2 million) in the sale of non-gold minerals and 11.2% (R1 184.6 million) in the sale of gold. The actual estimated total value of mineral sales at current prices for the second quarter of 2008 increased by 44.6% compared with the second quarter of 2007.

The major contributors to this increase were PGMs (13.0 percentage points or R7 345.7 million), coal (12.7 percentage points or R7 181.3 million), manganese ore (9.1 percentage points or R5 036.2 million) and iron ore (3.9 percentage points or R2 154.5 million).