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Diamonds remain major contributors to overall mineral production

Publishing Date : 23 February, 2015

Author : NGONIDZASHE DZIMIRI


The Indices of Mineral Production (IMP) in the third quarter of 2014 stood at 105.7 showing a year on year growth of 8.9 percent, Statistics Botswana (SB) has revealed.


According to SB, the increase in IMP primarily reflected positive contributions from diamond, copper concentrates, soda ash, salt, and silver and coal production.


Despite the negative contribution from Copper-Nickel-Cobalt Matte and Gold (5.0 and 0.3) percent respectively, the growth in mining sector was not affected.


 The major contributors to the 8.9 percent increase in mining production were diamonds contributing 11.4 percentage points followed by copper concentrates contributing 2.4 percentage points.


“Between Quarter three of 2014 and the same quarter of 2013, production of Diamonds increased by 14.1 percent. This notable increase is attributed to mining of higher grade stones.” However, the Copper-Nickel-Cobalt Matte production declined by 52.1 percent in the same period. Copper concentrates production recorded the highest growth, at 46.0 percent during the third quarter of 2014, due to unexpectedly higher ore crushed which resulted in higher copper recoveries.


 Salt production fell 2.0 percent in the third quarter of 2014 compared to an increase of 103.7 percent recorded in the similar quarter of 2013.


SB stated that Gold production fell by 17.5 percent in the third quarter of 2014 as compared to the third quarter of 2013. This was attributable to low ore mined which resulted in low gold recoveries from the ore.


 An increase of 3.9% was recorded for the Soda Ash production in the third quarter of 2014, despite the planned plant maintenance and interruptions.


During the third quarter of 2014, production of Silver increased by 25.4 percent when compared to the same quarter in the previous year. This was the first increase since 2013. This is largely attributable to higher quantities of ore having been crushed, resulting in increased silver recoveries.

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