Gold market: South Africa’s output has been shrinking for 25 months

Mining operations in South Africa mined 1.2 percent less gold last October than a year ago. After all, the shrinkage rates have decreased.


Funded less gold

South Africa produced less gold last October than in the same period last year. With a minus of 1.2 percent, the decline was again less than in the previous months. In September 2017, an increase in production volumes compared to the previous year was reported for the last time. That means gold mining in South Africa has been declining for 25 months now.


Gold sales rose

By contrast, gold sales in South Africa rose. An increase of 8.1 percent compared to the previous month is reported here. Gold sales almost doubled in September compared to the previous year. The data comes from the current monthly report of the statistical authority Stats SA. Absolute funding figures are usually not mentioned in the monthly report.


Gold market shrunk

South Africa was the world’s largest gold producer until 2006. Until the late 1980s, more than 600 tons of gold were extracted from the earth every year. Then China replaced the country as the industry leader. In 2018, South Africa’s mining operations only mined 139.3 tons of gold. The U.S. Geological Survey still estimates the country’s remaining gold reserves at 6,000 tons. The difficult production conditions (mining at extreme depths, strikes), the decline in mineralization in the rock and the lack of new, substantial gold deposits are weighing on production figures.