South Africa’s mining production to fall 8-10% this year: Minerals Council

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South Africa’s mining production is likely to fall between 8% and 10% this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the CEO of industry body the Minerals Council said on Tuesday during a virtual panel discussion.

Mines across South Africa, the world’s biggest producer of platinum and chrome and a leading producer of gold and diamonds, were forced to shut temporarily when a COVID-19 lockdown started in late March.

Harmony Gold CEO Peter Steenkamp said it would take a month for its mines to fully ramp up from June 1 when the country further eases its lockdown, allowing all mines – including deep-level operations – to work at full capacity.

Steenkamp said he did not expect Harmony’s acquisition of AngloGold Ashanti’s Mponeng mine to be completed before the end of July. Some 196 workers at Mponeng have tested positive for COVID-19, causing the mine to shut down.