Statistics Botswana says the Index of Mining production stood at 98.5 in the second quarter of 2015, showing a negative year-on-year growth of 7.6 percent. The decline was largely influenced by the slowing down of diamond production growth.
Indices of the physical volume of second quarter 2015 (stats brief) on Mining Production report noted that the two largest contributors to the slump in growth of mining production were diamonds contributing negative 4.6 percentage points and copper in concentrates contributing negative 4.1 percentage points.
Statistics Botswana said diamond production declined for the third consecutive quarter, decreasing by 5.4 percent in the second quarter of 2015 as compared to a decline of 1.5 percent in the second quarter of 2014.
“This decline is mainly attributable to the weakening demand for diamonds in the global market. The first quarter of 2015 had registered a decline of 2.5 percent in production,” it said.
Equally, copper in concentrates production decreased by 69.7 percent in the second quarter of 2015. This is the second decline following a 23.3 percent decrease recorded in the first quarter of 2015.
“The decline is largely attributable to the liquidation in one of the copper producing mines, which is currently not producing owing to reorganisation following new management take over.”
However, the report revealed that copper-nickle-cobalt matte production rose by 43.3 percent in the second quarter of 2015 marking the third consecutive quarter of positive growth. It said the increase for the quarter was realised despite the weak international copper prices which subsequently affected both matte and concentrates. The first quarter of 2015 had registered 87.3 percent growth in Copper-Nickle-Cobalt matte production.
Gold production registered a fifth consecutive decline during the second quarter of 2015, having recorded a decline of 33.0 percent. However, the decline is of lower magnitude when compared with the first quarter of 2015 when production had decreased by 46.3 percent. This decline is attributable to weak demand as well as stagnant gold prices.
Stats Botswana also said soda ash production growth decreased by 54.2 percent in the second quarter of 2015 as compared to the second quarter of 2014. This was primarily due to the planned plant refurbishment which resulted in zero production in the third month of the quarter. During the first quarter of 2015, Soda Ash production declined by 32.6 percent.
Salt production declined by 62.5 percent in the second quarter of 2015 as compared to the corresponding quarter of 2014. The decline in production was attributable to the planned plant refurbishment which resulted in zero production in the third month of the quarter. Comparison of the second quarter of 2015 and the first quarter of the same year shows a decline of 10.3 percent.
Silver production recorded zero growth during the second quarter of 2015. This is attributed to the shutdown of the mining operations following liquidation of the company. Coal production increased by 9.0 percent in the second quarter of 2015 as compared to the corresponding quarter of 2014. Coal production increased despite operational challenges that were realized at the Morupule Power Plant. Some of the coal produced was sold to the international market.