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Mining production increases year-on-year

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Mining production increases year-on-year
Mining Pit

Influenced by an upsurge in diamond production, Botswana’s mining production indicated a 1.5 percent increases year-on-year, latest figures from Statistics Botswana (SB) released early this week have shown.

According to the latest figures, the Index of Mining Production (IMP) stood at 87.5 in the second quarter of 2017 showing a year-on-year increase of 1.5 percent from 86.0 during the second quarter of 2016.

“The increase in diamond production influenced the overall index to a positive growth,” reads part of the IMP report.

Although the IMP increased, it is notable that production of other minerals such as salt, soda ash, and gold decreased marginally thereby off-setting the growth in the overall index of mining production in the country.

Indications are that the quarter-on-quarter analysis reflects an increase of 13.2 percent from 77.1 during the first quarter of 2017. The surge in production was supported by a strong performance of the diamond sector.

Diamond production recorded an increase of 12.6 percent 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.

The quarter-on-quarter analysis shows that diamond production increased by 13.2 percent as compared to the previous quarter.

Furthermore, gold production declined by 14.5 percent in the second quarter of 2017 as compared to production during the same quarter of 2016.

Gold production decreased despite the slight improvement in gold prices. The quarter-on-quarter production however, shows an increase of 48.1 percent, when compared to the preceding quarter.

Soda ash production registered a decrease of 25.2 percent during the second quarter of 2017 when compared to the same quarter of 2016.

The quarter-on-quarter comparisons reflects a decrease of 12.7 percent during the period under review as compared to the preceding quarter.

Salt production recorded a decrease of 28.3 percent 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 percent 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,” reads part of the IMP report.

Coal production recorded the highest increase since the third quarter of 2014, increasing by a whopping 63.9 percent in the second quarter of 2017 as compared to the corresponding quarter of 2016.

The increase in coal production was as a result of Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) uptake as Morupule B Power plant has improved operational efficiency.

The quarter-on-quarter production increased by 17.2 percent, when compared to the preceding quarter.

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.