Mining index down
The overall mining production index fell to 81.2 points in June 2014, from 103.7 points recorded in May 2014. This represents a decline of 13 points y/y and a decline of 21.8 points m/m as revealed by the Namibia Statistics Agency. On a monthly basis, only the production of zinc performed relatively well, while other minerals performed unfavourable.
The Economist spoke to Namibia Statistics Agency’s Senior Statistician National Accounts, Titus Kamatuka who said that Zinc performed well due to the new equipment that had been acquired at the mines hence the improved productivity.
The decline in overall mining production is attributed to declines in uranium, diamonds, copper and gold.
The uranium production index stood at 53.8 points in June, a decline of 73.8 points compared to a year ago, representing a 57.8% decline. On a monthly basis, a decline of 25.7%, was witnessed.
Kamatuka said the decline was caused by the planned plant shutdown for maintenance work in June by one of the mining companies.
Diamond production declined by 8.5% y/y and 25.7% m/m. Kamatuka explained that this was due to maintenance issues on one of the diamond vessels. “With respect to gold, the changes were minor and this can be attributed to the operational issues and market forces,” he said. Copper production declined by 10.6% m/m and 25.4% y/y. Kamatuka said this can be attributed to several developments that took place in the copper sector, such as upgrading of facilities and adding of the oxygen plant and two chimneys.