Mining sector weaker, compared to last year

23 Oct 2013 15:40pm
WINDHOEK, 23 OCT (NAMPA) - The mining sector displayed a slightly weaker performance during the second quarter of 2013, compared to the corresponding quarter in 2012.
The quarterly bulletin for September 2013 issued by the Bank of Namibia (BoN), made available during the bank’s monetary policy announcement here on Wednesday, showed that diamond production declined both on a quarterly and annual basis during the second quarter of 2013, owing to lower grades mined during the quarter under review.
Diamond production at the Namdeb Diamond Corporation decreased by 1.5 per cent and 7.9 per cent on a quarterly and annual basis, respectively, to 422 933 carats.
The decrease in production resulted mainly from a lower grade area mined during the quarter.
Gold production also decreased both on a quarterly and annual basis during the second quarter of 2013 due to lower grades mined, coupled with disruption in production at the Navachab Mine.
The decreased production is also in line with declined international gold prices.
According to the bulletin, production declined by 3.1 per cent and 37.3 per cent to 410 kilogrammes (kg) on a quarterly and annual basis, respectively, during the second quarter of 2013.
The shortfall in gold production on an annual basis was due to operational challenges experienced at the mine.
International gold prices also declined, averaging around US dollars 1 352 (about N.dollars 13 520) per ounce during the second quarter of 2013, compared to the average prices of US dollars 1 603 (about N.dollars 16 030) per ounce which prevailed during the corresponding period in 2012.
On the production of zinc concentrate at the Rosh Pinah Zinc Corporation, the quarterly bulletin noted that the production of zinc concentrate decreased on a quarterly basis.
However, production rose on an annual basis during the second quarter of 2013 due to the plant shutdown and improved operations.
“The production decreased on a quarterly basis by 7.6 per cent to 27 223 tonnes during the second quarter of 2013. The lower production was a result of a major shutdown for annual maintenance during the quarter under review. However, production increased by 29.6 per cent, compared to the corresponding quarter of the previous year, despite the annual shutdown taking place during both quarters.
The rise during the quarter under review was due to relative improved operations, which resulted in increased production since the last quarter of 2012”, the bulletin said.
According to the Rio Tinto and Langer Heinrich mines, uranium production improved during the second quarter of 2013, despite decreases in international uranium prices.
Uranium production increased by 4.0 per cent and 6.6 per cent on a quarterly and annual basis, respectively, to 1 385 tonnes during the quarter under review.
On average, international prices declined to US dollars 40.7 (about N.dollars 407) per pound during the second quarter of 2013, compared to the average price of US dollars 51.3 (N.dollars 513) per pound during the corresponding period of 2012.
(NAMPA)
PC/AS/TK