South Africa: Manganese Mining On the Rise in SA, but Coal Is Still the King of Commodities

analysis

PwC has released its annual report on South Africa's mining sector. A few things stand out amid all the number-crunching. It confirms the recent turnaround seen in share prices, underscores the steady decline in the gold sector and highlights the dramatic rise of domestic manganese production. And coal is still the biggest revenue earner.

Global accountancy and consulting group PwC released its annual review of South African mining on Thursday 26 September. This is a snapshot of the sector's performance in a range of areas, and a few details are eye-catching.

One is the performance of the JSE-Mining Index (in USD terms) compared with the global HSBC Mining Index from 2003 to 2019. Surprisingly, the JSE index for the most part effectively mirrors the HSBC gauge, despite the significant policy, labour, social and power challenges that confront the South African industry. Does this indicate that it's all about commodity prices, regardless of where the minerals and metals are being extracted?

Not quite: a closer look shows the JSE index begins to lag behind HSBC from around the middle of 2015 when uncertainty over the new mining charter casts a pall of gloom over the sector. The JSE caught up in...

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