South African mining production takes a pounding during COVID-19 lockdown
South Africa’s mining sector reported a staggering 47% decrease in production for the month of April. This is according to latest figures released by Statistics South Africa yesterday.
The country has been on national lockdown since 27 March in a bid to curb the spread of COVID-19. During Lockdown 5, all mines except those supplying coal to Eskom were closed or placed on care and maintenance.
According to the report, the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown regulations in place since 27 March have had an extensive impact on economic activity. Mining production decreased by 47,3% year-on-year in April 2020.
The largest contributors were:
- Iron ore, -68,7%;
- PGMs, -62,0%
- Gold, -59,6%; and
- Manganese ore, -57,6%
South African mines are slowly ramping up to 100% production capacity but this remains in the balance as numerous cases of COVID-19 have been reported in various mines since the country lowered its status to Lockdown 3, allowing most operations to resume.