South African gold mining: a final flourish or structural shift?

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Report summary

The sharp devaluation of the rand since 2012  and in particular from mid-2015 to early March 2016 has resulted in considerable cost savings for miners. This has set the scene for the country's gold sector to produce its largest annual pre-tax free cash flow in over a decade. This is relatively welcome news to the well publicised state of decline in South Africa - where production peaked in the 1970s at approximately 1000t/annum and is forecast at less than 150t in 2016.

What's included

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  • Document

    South African gold mining: a final flourish or structural shift?

    PDF 454.99 KB

Table of contents

  • Executive summary
  • Cost drivers across the South African gold mining sector since 2012
  • Longer term structural trends in productivity and mechanisation
  • Conclusions and outlook

Tables and charts

This report includes 7 images and tables including:


  • Pre-tax cash flow and year-to-date equity performance of producers with exposure to South Africa.
  • Waterfall chart for Total Cash plus Sustaining Capital (TCPS) costs in South African gold mining sector since 2012
  • South African inflation, power prices to mining sector, currency movement and cost sensitivity
  • Labour costs as a percentage of total minesite costs for South African gold miners
  • South African gold mine productivity - temporal trends and estimate for 2016
  • Relative share of South Africa's reserves and resources to selected peers and rest of world
  • South African gold production and number of workers engaged in gold mining

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