The Index of Mining production stood at 66.0 during third quarter of 2015, which showed a negative year-on-year growth of 37.6 percent, Statistics Botswana said on its latest industry release. According to Stats Botswana’s data, the decline was largely influenced by the year-on-year percentage change of diamonds (33.4 percent) as the mineral constitutes 82.5 percent of the total weight of the index.
Diamond production declined for the fourth consecutive quarter reflecting a decrease of 33.4 percent in the third quarter of 2015 as compared to the third quarter of 2014. The continued decline is as a result of the weakening demand for diamonds in the global market, Stats Botswana revealed.
On the other hand, Silver, Copper in Concentrates, Copper-Nickel-Cobalt Mate also had large year-on-year percentage decreases in production, having decreased by 100.0 percent, 84.0 percent and 61.6 percent respectively.
“Even though these three minerals had huge decreases when compared to that of diamond production, their impact on the year-on-year percentage change of the overall index is minimal as a result of their weight contribution to the overall index weight,” the agency said.
“Even though Soda Ash and Coal production increased by 7.1 percent and 18.6 percent respectively, during the third quarter of 2015, this did not have much impact on the overall year-on-year percentage change as these two minerals have a small combined weight of 1.2 as compared to 98.8 for the other minerals that had decreases in production,” it added.
According to Statistics Botswana, Copper-Nickle-Cobalt Matte production decreased by 61.6 percent in the third quarter of 2015 as a result of BCL smelter shutdown, which took more than the anticipated time.
Copper in Concentrates production decreased by 84.0 percent in the third quarter of 2015. This is attributable to the liquidation of one of the copper mines which is currently not producing owing to re-organisation following take over by new management.
The decrease followed a 69.7 percent decline recorded during the second quarter of 2015. Gold production registered a sixth consecutive decline during the third quarter of 2015, having recorded a decline of 7.8 percent.
However, the decline is of lower magnitude when compared with the decline of 33.0 percent recorded in the previous quarter. This decline was as a result of stagnant gold prices, which were experienced during the course of 2015 and the preceding years.
Soda Ash production growth increased by 7.1 percent in the third quarter of 2015 as compared to the third quarter of 2014. This was primarily due to the effectiveness of the plant after maintenance. Salt production declined by 8.3 percent in the third quarter of 2015 as compared to the corresponding quarter of 2014.
Silver recorded zero production in the third quarter of 2015. This is due to the shutdown of the mining operations following the liquidation of the company. Coal production increased by 18.6 percent in the third quarter of 2015 as compared to the corresponding quarter of 2014.