Pretoria - The total value of production lost to platinum and gold mining strikes since the beginning of the year amounts to about R10.1bn, the national treasury disclosed on Thursday.
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said declining mining output and the spread of strike action had depressed activity in related industries including manufacturing, logistics and services. This had negative consequences for the gross domestic product, tax revenues, exports and employment.
“The impact will be larger if strike activity is protracted. Real value added in mining contracted by 6.3% in the first half of 2012 compared with the same period last year, following a sharp decline in platinum group metals output,” Gordhan said.
“The platinum price had declined by 14.2% to $1 427 per ounce between February and July, but rebounded above $1 650/oz in September as supply was limited by strikes.”
In the year to August, mining output fell by 3.3% with production of platinum group metals being 15.3% lower.
Continued strong growth in iron ore, spurred by Chinese demand, had offset some of the decline in platinum, gold and coal.