SA mining output contracts most in two years in March

Johannesburg - The South African mining output contracted the most in two years in the month of March.

Production shrank 8.4% from a year earlier, Pretoria-based Statistics South Africa said in a statement on Thursday. That’s the biggest contraction since March 2016 and compares with a revised 2% expansion in February, it said. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey was for a 0.2% increase.

Platinum output contracted 6.1% compared with a revised 13% drop in February, while gold production plummeted 18%, the most since January 2015 and a sixth straight month of contraction.

Aging infrastructure, reserve depletion and accidents have raised costs and curbed output in South Africa, once the world’s biggest gold producer.

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