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Mining of Precious Metals and Minerals: Gold and Uranium, Platinum and Diamonds
South Africa has significant gold reserves, more than 90% of the world’s platinum reserves and a long history of mining. Increasing rand gold and platinum prices are positive for the precious metals sector. Yet the industry faces numerous challenges including the increasing depth of mines, declines in productivity, ageing infrastructure, declining grades and skills shortages. Gold, uranium, platinum and diamond producers face disruptions to the supply of, and markets for, their commodities due to coronavirus, increasing costs and electricity supply problems.
Gold, uranium, platinum and diamond mines were put on care and maintenance from 27 March 2020 due to the national lockdown following the outbreak of coronavirus. Several companies reduced their planned capital expenditure for the year to preserve cash, and several companies declared force majeure due to their inability to supply products to customers. Mines have been resuming production since an April 16 announcement that they could come back up to 50% capacity, and permission to operate at full capacity from June 1, following gazetted guidelines for a code of practice to manage the coronavirus pandemic. However, it takes time to ramp up and significant time has been lost, and mining companies are adjusting their production forecasts.
This report focuses on the Mining of Precious Metals and Minerals: Gold and Uranium, Platinum and Diamonds, and includes comprehensive information on production, exports, costs, commodity prices and other influencing factors, as well as corporate actions and regulatory and other developments in the sector. There are profiles of 35 companies including major gold producers such as AngloGold Ashanti, Sibanye-Stillwater, Harmony and Gold Fields, platinum-group metal players such as Anglo American Platinum, Impala, Northam, Mmakau and Royal Bafokeng and diamond miners Petra Diamonds and De Beers.