SA mining production slump continues – Stats SA
There was a continued slide in local mining production data for January, Statistics South Africa has announced – though the industry saw a simultaneous spike in mineral sales.
Total SA mineral production was down 3.3% in January 2019, compared to the same period last year. This follows decreases of 4.1% y/y and 5.2% y/y in December and November.
Diamonds saw the biggest drop in production at 37%, followed by iron ore and diamonds.
According to data published on Thursday:
- Iron ore production fell by 27.7%;
- gold fell by 22.5%;
- diamonds production fell 37.0%
- coal was down 6.4% and;
- chromium ore was down 7.3%.
The largest growth was seen in platinum group metals, whose production increased by 28.1% over January 2018.
Production down, sales up
While mining production was down, mineral sales increased by 20.9% year-on-year in January 2019.
The largest contributors were platinum group metals (a 45.4% increase), iron ore (up 41.1%) and coal (up 11.8%).
Following the release of the data, Investec said in a statement that gold and iron ore - which together constituted 28.4% of the total mining basket - continued to drag down the sector.
To achieve positive outcomes, Investec said, a predictable, stable and competitive policy, regulatory and operating environment that resolves constraints and promotes long-term investment in the mining sector was essential.