The mining industry’s total income for 2012 was at R408 billion, according to Statistics SA, with platinum providing the highest income in the sector.

Platinum contributed 29% with R117 billion, followed by coal and lignite at 23%, or R96 billion. Iron ore contributed 17% or R68 billion, and gold and uranium ore 16% at R67 billion.

“Mining was the fifth largest contributor to the GDP,” said statistician general Pali Lehohla. “The value of mineral sales for the industry was R377 billion.”

The largest contributor was coal with about R91 billion followed by platinum group metals R88 billion, gold R67 billion and iron ore with R63 billion. All other minerals in the mining industry made up the other R69 billion.

The mining industry employed 535 000 people, the bulk of them in the platinum sector. “The largest number of persons were employed in mines located in the North West,” Lehohla said. The North West employed 38% of mineworkers, Mpumalanga 18%, Gauteng 16%, and Limpopo 12%.

The total expenditure for the mining industry was R318 billion. The largest expenditure was purchases with 33%, followed by salaries and wages 22% or about R70bn. Subcontractors and depreciation were both eight percent.

Women made up 12% of employees. The industry with the most women employees was the chemical and fertiliser minerals sector, at 40%.

The mining census covered about 1 500 mines on a list from the mineral resources department and the questionnaires were completed from July 1, 2011 to June 30 2012.

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