Shock graph: SA gold output plunges most since 2015

JOHANNESBURG — The fact that gold production in South Africa has been sliding for several years now is probably old news. But it’s still a shock to the system when you see it laid out on a graph. And this graphic below paints a picture of a once-proud sector that has these days become a shadow of itself. – Gareth van Zyl

By Rene Vollgraaff

(Bloomberg) — South African gold production plunged the most in almost four years in September.

Output retreated 19 percent from a year earlier, Pretoria-based Statistics South Africa said in a statement Thursday. Overall mining output fell 1.8 percent, while production of platinum-group metals increased 7.2 percent, it said.

Key Insights
  • Producers in South Africa, which operate some of the world’s deepest and most labour intensive mines, have been forced to reduce output and cut thousands of jobs as they struggle to contain operating costs.
  • The continent’s most-industrialized economy fell into its first recession in almost a decade in the second quarter.
  • Sixty-nine workers have died in South African mines so far this year, with the nation’s gold mines accounting for more than half of the fatalities, Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe said last month.
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