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South African mining output fell for 8th month in a row in June

Mining production decreased 4.2% year over year in June, marking the eighth consecutive month of declines since October 2018, according to data published by Statistics South Africa on August 8.

The largest negative contributor was gold with a 16% decline, contributing decrease of 2.1 percentage points in the country's overall production figures. Diamonds were down 33.2%, contributing 1.7 percentage points to the decline, and platinum group metals down 6.3%, accounting for a fall of 1.6 percentage points.

When looking at seasonally adjusted data, mining production increased 3.3% in June compared to May, while a quarterly comparison showed a 3.5% increase in production in the second quarter, with the largest contributions coming from iron ore, manganese ore and coal, compared to the first quarter.

Mineral sales at current prices increased 6.5% year over year in June. Iron ore accounted for a 76.6% increase, contributing 5.9 percentage points, PGM sales were up 9.9% and contributed 2.3 percentage points, and sales for other metallic minerals were up 70.7%, contributing 1.8 percentage points.

An improved platinum metals' basket price and higher sales volumes led to stronger performances for platinum producers such as Anglo American Platinum Ltd., Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. and Northam Platinum Ltd. Higher iron ore prices offset lower sales volumes and weaker aluminum prices for Rio Tinto, which reported first-half results at the start of August.

Statistics South Africa said seasonally adjusted mineral sales, at current prices, fell 2.3% in June from May, which saw a 0.8% decrease. In the second quarter, the seasonally adjusted value of mineral sales at current prices was 2.6% higher than the first quarter.