South Africa's gold production continues to fall

South Africa's total mineral production grew 4.2% in June, compared with the same month last year, but the negative trend in gold output continued its course with bullion output dropping 4% by volume, Statistics South Africa said Wednesday.

The total production numbers were welcome by the local mining community as it ends a run of 10 consecutive months of decline.

Production of non-gold minerals went up by 5.3% in the second quarter of 2012. Platinum group metals production contributed the most to the overall performance, registering a 4.8% in June.

Actual mining production, however, fell 2.1% in the second quarter of 2012 compared with the same period last year.

Despite the gloomy outlook for the country’s mining sector, analysts quoted by Business Day said the long-term picture is not quite so adverse, leading to potential buying opportunities at current cheaper gold prices.