The mining industry accounted for 8.8% of GDP on a nominal basis in 2011. In that same year, the mining sector grew by 0.2% after declining by 5.6% and 5.4% in 2008 and 2009, respectively. Real mining GDP recorded in 2011 was R99.4 billion, which was smaller than the pre-crisis figure of R105.3 billion recorded in 2007.

Performance of Mining Industry in 2011

Manganese Ore Exports in South Africa

In 2011, South Africa accounted for 29.7% of the global manganese ore exports, Australia came in second place with a total contribution of 29.5% and Gabon in third with a total contribution of 13.4%. The three countries exported 16.1 million tons of the total 22.3 million tons of manganese ore that were exported in 2011. More than half of the 6.6 million tons of manganese exported by South Africa were destined for China, with India consuming about 12% of the total exports. Some of the exports were shipped to Japan, Norway, South Korea, and Spain, which collectively received about 27% of South Africa’s exports. The country’s production increased by 57% in 2010 to 7.1 million tons, coinciding with the global economic recovery. The increased production was in response to global recovery in steel production. A total of 5.9 million tons of manganese ore with a sales value of R10.6 billion were exported in 2010.

High Carbon Ferromanganese Exports in South Africa

In 2011, a total of 1.4 million tons of High Carbon Ferromanganese (HC FeMn) were exported to the different importers globally. South Africa accounted for about 32% of these exports, making it the highest contributor to the global HC FeMn exports. Norway (10.1%), Australia (9.4%) and France (9.2%) were the second, third and fourth largest exporters of the ferroalloy. The United States was the biggest consumer of South Africa’s HC FeMn in 2011 at 42%, followed by The Netherlands at 11%, Belgium at 7%, and Germany and Japan at 5% apiece.

South Africa alone exported slightly more than three times the export volume of Norway in 2011, the second biggest exporter, and almost four times the volume of France. When comparing South Africa with the other BRICS nations, its exports were almost forty one times those of Brazil, almost eleven times those of Russia, almost seventy times those of China, and almost six times those of India.

Industry Performance in YTD 2012 Manganese Ore Market

South Africa, Australia, and Gabon have continued to lead in terms of their market share of Manganese exports, with a combined share of about 74% year-to-date (YTD). The manganese market has continued to be subdued since the beginning of the year. China accounted for 66.3% of global exports, followed by South Korea at 8.0% and Norway at 5.6%. About 59% of South Africa’s exports were destined for China, 11% for Japan and 10% for South Korea. China imported about 76% of Australia’s exports and about 38% of Gabon’s exports.

High Carbon Ferromanganese Market YTD 2012

The United States continued to lead the pack of HC FeMn importers accounting for 21.5% of the global imports, followed by Germany with a market share of 8.7%, Japan at 8.6%, The Netherlands at 6.6% and Taiwan at 6.1%. South Africa contributed about 33% (that is, 205 210) of the global 618 333 tons of HC FeMn that were exported YTD in 2012, followed by Australia with 10.5% of the exports and Norway in the third spot with 9.1% market share contribution.

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