The Index of Mining Production (IMP) went up in the second quarter of the year on the back of rise in production in diamonds and coal. The quarter-on-quarter analysis reflects an increase of 13.2% from 77.1 during the first quarter of 2017. The leading contributor to the increase in mining production was diamonds contributing 11.1 percentage points to the overall increase.
According to Statistics Botswana’s Indices of the Physical Volume of Mining Production Second Quarter 2017, the IMP stood at 87.3 in the second quarter of 2017 showing a year-on-year increase of 1.5% from 86.0 during the second quarter of 2016.
The report pointed out that the increase in diamond production influenced the overall index to a positive growth. Although the IMP increased, it is notable that production of other minerals such as salt, soda ash, and gold decreased, marginally off-setting the growth in the overall index.
Diamond production recorded an increase of 12.6% during the second quarter of 2017 as compared to the second quarter of 2016. “This increase was largely due to the improved trading environment and international demand for diamonds, as well as the resumption of the plant which was previously under partial care and maintenance,” Statistics Botswana said.
The quarter-on-quarter analysis shows that diamond production increased by 13.2% as compared to the previous quarter.
On the other hand, coal production recorded the highest increase since the third quarter of 2014, increasing by 63.9% in the second quarter of 2017 as compared to the corresponding quarter of 2016.
“The increase was as a result of Botswana Power Corporation uptake as Morupule B Power has improved operational efficiency. The quarter-on-quarter production increased by 17.2%, when compared to the preceding quarter.”
However, gold production declined by 14.5% in the second quarter of 2017 as compared to production during the same quarter of 2016. Production decreased despite the slight improvement in gold prices. The quarter-on-quarter production however, shows an increase of 48.1%, when compared to the preceding quarter.
Soda Ash production registered a decrease of 25.2% during the second quarter of 2017 when compared to the same quarter of 2016. The quarter-on-quarter comparisons reflect a decrease of 12.7% during the period under review as compared to the preceding quarter.
Salt production recorded a decrease of 28.3% in the second quarter of 2017 when compared to the second quarter of 2016. The quarter-on-quarter comparison shows a decrease of 11.8% in the second quarter of 2017 as compared to the first quarter of 2017.
The decline for both soda ash and salt was mainly due to the plant refurbishment which resulted in low production during the month of May.
Copper-Nickel-Cobalt Matte, Silver and Copper in Concentrates recorded zero production during the period under review. The instability and uncertainty of commodity prices had negatively affected the mines, thus leading to the provisional liquidation of the concerned companies.