South Africa’s mining output at lowest in over 18 months
South Africa’s mining production dropped more than expected in July to 7.7% , close to levels last seen in late 2012, as the country’s platinum mines were affected by the longest and costliest strike in history early this year.
The figures from Statistics South Africa show the gold sector has also suffered this year, with output falling almost 15% year on year. Copper and diamond production also declined in July — 15.9% and 10% year-on-year respectively.
Iron ore, however, saved the day. The sector contributed 2.2% to the country’s overall output for the period.
The gloomy data comes just days after the announcement of a wider-than-expected current account deficit for the second quarter.
Mining is a big foreign exchange earner in South Africa, while manufacturing is the second biggest sector of the economy. Both industries are in recession and dragged the whole economy to a 0.6% contraction in the first quarter of the year.