SA’s June mining production down 28% year-on-year as Covid-19 continues to reverberate

SOUTH Africa’s total mining output fell 28.2% year-on-year in June compared to a revised contraction of 27.6% in May, said Reuters

Citing Statistics South Africa on Thursday, the newswire said June gold production fell 17% compared to June’s production last year whilst platinum group metals (PGMs) output fell by 42.5%.

Harmony Gold, which will be South Africa’s largest gold producer once it completes the purchase of Mponeng and Mine Waste Solutions from AngloGold Ashanti, said on Wednesday that gold production for the 12 months ended June would be 15% lower year-on-year at some 1.2 million ounces.

This was largely owing to lockdown that started in March and continued to effect the group owing to the fact 5,500 of its employees are migrant workers. A portion had returned to their homes during the hard lockdown and had not since returned to he country owing to border delays. It expected to return to full production after August.

The Minerals Council South Africa chief economist, Henk Langenhoven, said on August 7 that despite the lower year-on-year production numbers there was evidence that the sector was “bouncing back” from the impact of Covid-19 interruptions.

Mining exports increased about 13% in June compared to May whilst revenue had been on the rise since October owing to rand depreciation against the dollar, the Covid-19 lockdown notwithstanding. Sales totalled R40bn in April, down from the R50bn at the beginning of the year but about R8bn higher than during lockdown.