Drop in mining production between 2013 and 2014

Mining production decreased by 1,5% in 2014 compared with 2013. The negative outcome was largely the result of declines in platinum group metals (PGMs) (‑28,7%) and gold (‑5,1%). Iron ore production grew by 12,6% in 2014 and coal grew by 2,0%.

The sharp decline in PGMs in 2014 was the result of widespread strikes in the sector, which lasted five months during the first half of the year. The impact of the industrial action was that by May 2014, the level of PGM production was approximately 50% lower than its average monthly level during 2013. PGM production recovered during the second half of 2014, with December’s production above the 2013 average, but the year-on-year growth rates nevertheless remained negative as shown in the graph.



The index of South African mining production published monthly by Stats SA is dominated by four mineral groups, namely coal (with an index weight of 26,4%), gold (21,1%), PGMs (19,0%) and iron ore (14,5%). The index weights show the importance of each mineral group in total production; they are the sales value of each mineral group as a percentage of total mineral sales for 2012, and are being used for the first time in the December 2014 mining statistical release (previous weights were based on sales values for 2010).

Other results from the release:

  • Total mining production declined by 2,0% in December 2014 compared with December 2013.
  • The largest year-on-year production decrease in December 2014 was experienced by the diamond sector, falling by 27,9%.
  • Seasonally adjusted mining production increased by 0,9% in December 2014 compared with November 2014. This followed a month-on-month change of -1,1% in November 2014.

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