SA gold slump continues as annual production falls by 19.5%

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South Africa's embattled gold sector faced more bad news on Thursday. 

According to Stats SA, annual gold production shrank by 19.5% in April, its 19th straight  monthly decrease. Annual production fell by 18.3% in March and 21.1% in February.  

According to Stats SA, annual iron ore production was down 11.9%, while chromium ore fell by 7.2%. 

Total mining production decreased by 1.5% year-on-year. 

While South Africa has one of the world's largest gold reserves, it is no longer the biggest producer of the precious metal on the continent, having lost its gold crown to Ghana. 

Stats SA reported that, while total mining production dropped, overall mineral sales increased by 16.1% year-on-year in April, largely due to an 81.7% increase in the value of sales of iron ore. 

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