South African gold production fell 10.9% in volume terms, while overall mineral production declined 17.2% in March compared to the same month in the previous year. Production of non-gold minerals fell by 18.1% in March.
In February, year-on-year gold sales fell 1.3% to 3.39 billion rand, sales of non-gold mineral rose by 23.6% to 18 billion rand, and total mineral sales rose by 18.8% to 21.4 billion rand, according to a statement on www.statssa.gov.za.
Mining output in South Africa has taken a hit after state-owned power utility Eskom struggled to provide sufficient power to mines, following a near collapse in the electricity grid in January, which led to a five-day countrywide mining shutdown. Eskom has since supplied around 90% to 95% power to mines in the country.
South African gold producers, AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. (NYSE: AU), Gold Fields Ltd. (NYSE: GFI), Harmony Gold Mining Co. (NYSE: HMY) and smaller miner DRDGOLD Ltd. (NASDAQ: DROOY) all produced less in the quarter to end-March, due to the power crisis, but were rescued by a higher gold price, which boosted their earnings.