South Africa reports decrease in mining production

Mining production in South Africa has recorded a drop by 1.9% year on year in January. This is according to Statistics South Africa.

Juan-Pierre Terblanche, chief survey statistician attributed the drop to platinum group metals (PGMs) and diamonds whose output decreased by 15.2% and 15.5% respectively. The mining industry also produced less nickel, copper and manganese ore than it did a year ago.

Iron ore and coal however, recorded positive output, having an increase of 12.1% and 4.1%, respectively. Despite the drop in production, South Africa’s mineral sales at current prices increased by 6.8% year on year in January, with the largest positive contributors being coal, gold, chromium ore and other metallic minerals.

Mining  possessions in SA

Statistics from the South African Department of Mineral Resources and the US Geological Survey indicate that South Africa possesses ore reserves amounting to a value of more than US$2.5 trillion, with 16 commodities ranked in the Top 10 internationally. South Africa has the largest reserves of Platinum-group metals (PGMs; 88%), Manganese (80%), Chromite (72%) and Gold (13%) known reserves in the world. It is ranked second in Titanium minerals (10%), Zirconium (25%), Vanadium (32%), Vermiculite (40%) and Fluorspar (17%). In addition, the country contains 17% of the world’s antimony reserves.

South Africa is currently ranked 5th internationally in terms of mining contribution to GDP[2] and the country is ranked in the top three globally in terms of production of PGMs (59%), Vanadium (25%), Ferrochrome (39%), Alumino-silicates (60%), Vermiculite (35%), Zirconium (32%), Titanium minerals (19%), Manganese ore (17%) and Antimony (2%), with its Gold (8%), Coal[3] (4%), Iron ore (4%), Ferro-silicon, Silicon metal and Fluorspar ranked in the Top Ten globally. PGMs, Gold, Iron ore and Coal alone account for 82% of sales and 38% (R282 billion) of exports.

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