New figures released yesterday (February 24th) by the Chamber of Mines have suggested that South African gold output has plummeted to its lowest level for 86 years.
The country is a traditional powerhouse in gold production, but the latest statistics suggest that annual output fell by 13.6 percent to 220 tonnes in 2008.
South Africa is still the world's third-largest producer of the yellow metal but the figure compares unfavourably to its peak of over 1,000 tonnes in 1970, since when it has been declining gradually.
However, the news will come as a huge boost to anyone with a Gold Investment, as decreasing global supplies will inevitably lead to higher Gold Prices.
The main contributing factors to the falling output last year were the power crisis suffered by state utility Eskom in the first quarter and declining grades at ageing gold mines.
The trends seen in recent years in South Africa have also been imitated on a global scale, with the total gold supply falling by 3.7 percent last year to 2,385 tonnes.
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