Sharp output drop in mining sector

OUTPUT in the mining sector fell sharply in January compared with a year ago‚ indicating economic growth got off to a slow start this year.

Mining production decreased significantly by 4.5% year-on-year in January after contracting by 1.2% yearon-year in December.

The decline was mainly due to lower iron ore‚ copper and manganese ore production.

The fall in Chinese demand, coupled with low global commodity prices‚ is negatively affecting the mining sector.

Gold production had been a significant positive contributor in January‚ Statistics SA reported.

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