South Africa Mine Output Up for 2nd Time Since July


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12 مارس 2007
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South African mine output advanced for a second time since July as a jump in commodity prices spurred producers to extract more raw materials.

Production rose 5.8 percent in February from a year earlier, Statistics South Africa said on its Web site today. The agency uses an index derived from a survey of mining companies to determine volumes. Production of diamonds and chromium ore more than doubled and manganese ore output increased 65 percent.

Mining companies operating in South Africa have restarted operations closed during the recession as prices for everything from coal to copper declined. Platinum, of which South Africa is the world's biggest producer, has more than doubled since the end of 2008 while the price of thermal coal used in power plants advanced 50 percent in a year.

Revenue from mineral sales rose 13 percent to about 18.7 billion rand ($2.55 billion) in January from a year earlier, the agency said. Sales statistics lag behind output data.

Gold output fell 9.2 percent in February from a year earlier. South Africa's ranking among gold-producing nations has slipped in the last several years as its remaining known reserves get deeper. It was probably the third-largest producer last year, according to London-based researcher GFMS Ltd.

Output of platinum and related metals such as rhodium fell 13 percent. Anglo Platinum Ltd. and Lonmin Plc, the world's biggest and third-biggest producers of the metals respectively, haven't reopened high-cost shafts shut when prices fell in 2008.

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