Output retreated 19% from a year earlier, Pretoria-based Statistics South Africa said in a statement Thursday. Overall mining output fell 1.8%, while production of platinum-group metals increased 7.2%, it said.
Producers in South Africa, which operate some of the world’s deepest and most labour intensive mines, have been forced to reduce output and cut thousands of jobs as they struggle to contain operating costs. The continent’s most-industrialised economy fell into its first recession in almost a decade in the second quarter. Sixty-nine workers have died in South African mines so far this year, with the nation’s gold mines accounting for more than half of the fatalities, Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe said last month.