14 March 2017

South Africa: Coal Drags but Mining Production Still On the Up

Mining production was up 1.3% for January 2017, compared to levels a year ago, according to data from Statistics South Africa (Stats SA).

Stats SA released the mining and sales data for January 2017 on Tuesday. Mining production was up 1.7% from December 2016, an uptick from a downward trend reported previously.

The main drivers of this increase include manganese ore, up 20% and contributing 1.2 percentage points to overall production, and iron ore, which was up 7.3%, also contributing 1.2 percentage points to production.

However, coal production was down 5.5% and was a "significant" negative contributor to overall production.

Seasonally, production was down 5.2% for the three months leading up to January 2017, the statistics revealed. The largest negative contributors for the three months were platinum group metals (PGMs), which contributed -2 percentage points to the decline, and iron ore, which contributed -1.9 percentage points.

Mineral sales

Mineral sales increased by 23% in December 2016, compared to the previous year. Manganese ore sales were up 317.7%, followed by chromium ore (195.5%), iron ore (64.7%) and coal (13.9%).

However, copper sales decreased 63.3% from the previous year; gold sales were down too by 10.6%, followed by nickel which was down 5.3% and PGMs (-4.2%).

Source: Fin24

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