South Africa’s Mining Production Down — PGMs Decline to Blame

- June 14th, 2018

Statistics South Africa says production in the country’s mining sector dipped significantly in April, and is placing the majority of the blame on dwindling PGMs output.

South Africa’s mining sector saw a drop in output of 4.3 percent year-on-year in April, with platinum-group metals (PGMs) production declining 6.5 percent, Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) reported on Thursday (June 14).

The slide in PGMs production contributed 1.5 percentage points to the total decline in mining output, with seasonally adjusted mining production decreasing by 2 percent in April.

“Seasonally adjusted mining production decreased by 3.4 percent in the three months ended April 30, compared with the previous three months,” says Stats SA’s report.

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Ten out of the 12 mineral groups and minerals reported negative growth rates over this period,” it adds, listing iron ore, PGMs and other metallic minerals as the largest negative contributors.

Other resources to tumble were diamonds, with production falling 24.1 percent, and gold, where output slumped 5.5 percent. In terms of sales, mineral sales increased by 6.1 percent year-on-year in April.

Contributing most notably to the sales increase was manganese ore, which was up 116.5 percent, along with coal, which climbed 10.6 percent, and iron ore, which rose 12.3 percent.

Once again, PGMs negatively affected South Africa’s mining sector as sales were down 18.6 percent.

Stats SA notes, “PGMs [were] a significant negative contributor. Seasonally adjusted mineral sales at current prices increased by 3.0 percent in April 2018 compared with March 2018. This followed month-on-month changes of -0.8 percent in March 2018 and -4.1 percent in February 2018.”

The organization also says, “[i]n the three months ended April 2018 the seasonally adjusted value of mineral sales at current prices was 6.2 percent lower compared with the previous three months.”

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Securities Disclosure: I, Nicole Rashotte, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.  

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