Gold mining in South Africa falls 16.5 percent in Januaryadmin
Gold mining output in South Africa fell 16.5 percent in January from the same period last year because of power cuts, the national statistics agency said Thursday.
“Gold production decreased by 16.5 percent for the month of January 2008 compared with January 2007,” Statistics South Africa said in a statement.
And overall, “the reported electricity supply shortages that led to some mine shaft closures contributed to the 10.7 percent decrease in mining production for January 2008″.
Gold’s recent record-setting run to levels close to 1,000 dollars an ounce has been partially attributed to production problems in South Africa.
Mining company Gold Fields warned last month that the South African power crisis, dubbed a national emergency by the government, threatened to cut its long-term production by up to a fifth and may compel it to slash nearly 7,000 jobs.
In a bid to conserve dwindling electricity stocks, state power utility Eskom imposed a quota of 90 percent of average historic electricity consumption on mines in January, recently lifted to 95 percent.
Gold is South Africa’s main foreign exchange earner.