Digging up mining stats
FILE PIC: Orapa Mine

Production down in the first half of the year

Latest figures show that generally mining production was down during the first half of the year as compared to the same period in 2018.

Anglo American reported that production at Debswana, a significant contributor to De Beers, decreased by nine percent to 5.7 million carats in the second quarter of the year.

The drop was mainly attributed to a decline of almost 23 percent in production at Orapa mine.

This followed a planned shutdown at the mine, brought forward from the second half of 2018, which impacted production in the late first quarter and early second quarter of the year.

However, it was not all bad news for Debswana as production at Jwaneng increased by seven percent to 3.2 million carats due to tonnes treated.

Figures from Statistics Botswana also indicate that diamond production decelerated during the reviewed period, decreasing by 5.4 percent during the first quarter of the year.

Other minerals such as gold suffered a similar predicament, with production decreasing by 16.9 percent in the first quarter of 2019, compared to the same period last year.

This is said to be the result of unstable commodity prices as well as the deteriorating lifespan of Mupane Gold Mine.

However, others like Soda Ash recorded positive growth for the fifth consecutive quarter. Production increased by 14.6 percent compared to the same period last year.

The improvement is attributed to the plant’s high efficiency following its refurbishment carried out in 2017.

Coal production on the other hand, dropped for the second consecutive quarter, going down by 7.1 percent.

Though production of coal dropped, it has been revealed there was no shortfall in supply of coal due to stockpiling.

Mining production analysis are conducted by the data collecting agency in order to compare change in production to mining’s contribution to the GDP.