South African gold output falls sharply

SOUTH AFRICA - South African production of gold slipped by more than 8% in 2001, the Chamber of Mines of South Africa has reported.

Gold output slipped to 393,254 kilogrammes - its lowest level since 1953 - from 427,981 kg in 2000.

"The decline in production is attributed to an 8.4% fall in the average grade to 4.13 grammes per tonne, and the exhaustion of ore in certain older mine shafts," said the Chamber's chief economist, Roger Baxter.

Nevertheless, production of gold in the future is

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