South Africa’s mining production is down 11.6pc in November from the previous year, according to data released by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA). Production is down on the back of lower iron-ore outputs, down 35.3pc.
Iron ore was the largest negative contributor to the total production drop. Iron ore volumes dipped 35.3pc from the previous year. Coal production also was down 5.9pc from the previous year. In November, copper volumes fell 17.9pc from 2019 while nickel was down 11pc.
The decrease in production can be largely tied to the tighter lockdown restriction in the country and most of South Africa’s significant export markets were experiencing the second wave of COVID-19, especially European countries, during November.
The index for copper production in November dipped to 36.4 by 17pc from the previous month. Iron ore index is down to 69.4 in November from October’s 70.7. Chromium ore index in November was reported at 100.4, up by 7pc from the previous month. Nickel index settled at 64.9, down 21pc from the previous month.
Sales in November increased by 15pc from the prior year with iron ore sales increasing by 28.8pc from the prior year among PGMs (platinum group metals) and other metals minerals contributing to the robust growth. Seasonally adjusted mineral sales at current prices is down 4.4pc in November from the previous month.
Persistent power outages have also weighed in on production. Mining production majorly adds to the GDP but experts believe that in Q4, mining production is not expected to do so. Recovery is forecast to sustain but will be limited by strict lockdown announced to deal with COVID-19 second wave.