Iron ore and platinum metals lead mining boom

According to figures released this week by Stats SA.
Mineral sales at current prices increased by more than 32% year-on-year in July. Image: Bloomberg

SA’s mining sector has shrugged off the effects of the shutdowns introduced in March 2020, with production now back to pre-Covid levels.

Mining production was up 10.3% year-on-year for July 2021, with more than half this improvement coming from iron ore and platinum group metals (PGMs), according to a report released this week by Statistics South Africa.

Read: Iconic SA mines are ravaged economy’s unlikely saviour

Gold and chromium also made sizeable contributions to the overall improvement in production.

Volume of mining production (base: 2015 = 100)

Source: Stats SA

Stats SA shows how the Covid-related mining shutdowns impacted mining volumes, which were down by half the normal levels of production in April 2020. This was followed by a brisk recovery, with mining volumes now at pre-Covid levels.

Even more impressive is the value of mineral sales at current prices.

Mineral sales at current prices increased by 32.6% year-on-year in July 2021, with PGMs accounting for most of this improvement, followed by iron ore.

Total value of mineral sales at current prices

Source: Stats SA

Also released this week was the Statistics SA Mining Report 2019, showing coal and PGMs accounting for 28% of total mining revenue for 2019, followed by iron ore (12%), gold and uranium (11%), manganese ore (6%), chrome ore (4%) and other types of mining (8%).

Diamonds, once a mainstay of the SA mining sector, now account for just 3% of total mining revenue.

Read: Top 40 mining profits will hit 18-year high in 2021 – PwC


Perhaps more concerning is the steady loss of mining jobs. Employment in the mining industry declined from 538 144 in 2012 to 514 859 in 2019 (a loss of 23 285 jobs).

The biggest losses in jobs were recorded in the mining of gold (42 000) and PGMs (8 000). However, there were gains in coal lignite mining (17 000) and ‘other mining and service activities’ (5 000).

The largest contributor to salaries and wages was North West (R28.7 billion or 27%), followed by Limpopo (R22.5 billion or 21,2%) and Mpumalanga (R19.7 billion or 18,7%).

In terms of employment, North West was the largest contributor with 150 003 (29.1%) persons working in the industry, followed by Limpopo (110 319 or 21.4%), Mpumalanga (94 804 or 18.4%) and Gauteng (69 965 or 13.6%).

Listen to Simon Brown’s interview with Pan African Resources CEO Cobus Loots in this MoneywebNOW podcast (or read the transcript here):



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Statssa is slow…. Plantinum is falling like crazy….

Keep selling , I will keep buying.

Look what Sebanye bought yesterday. Plus they bought R5 Billion in shares back, plus R2.81 dividend coming up on Monday.

Platinum, Palladium, Rhodium prices will pick up again once they sort our the chip shortages.

Our mining shares are now at P/E of 2, 3 and 5. They less than half the price of their counterparts overseas.

Plus when the Rand drops to R16.50 I will collect Dollars for Metals.

Metals will always sell.

Im not into the resource sector… I even avoid Sasol….I dont really like equities that are linked to Resource prices. That being said … Platinum has had a good run.

But I am thinking of buying the dip in Rhodium and Platinum.

By the way, who produces Palladium? Where can I get prices from?

Is there an ETF for Palladium?

being this helpless in the information age.

This bull will be short lived, there is a new product which is gaining industrial scale and cost efficiency called “Graphene”, whilst it will not replace steel entirely, it will ensure that less steel is used.

Seeing that Graphene is 200 Times stronger than steel it is 2 dimensional, this does mean that it will be used in in the production of products like Paint; Concrete; Glass; Wood & Steel. Making them all about 30% Lighter and much much stronger.

yes, totally, in the medium term, a material – that you have not seen even a tiny sample of – will replace steel, wood, concrete, paint and glass. Right.

Watch the PGM(s) in 2022.

Gold should be at a much higher price if you take inflation into account.

They printed over %30 more Dollars since March 2020.

Uncle Sam has paper, we have metals.

End of comments.



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  CPIThe Consumer Price Index (CPI) measures monthly changes in prices for a range of consumer products Jul 2022 7.40%
  CPI ex OERThe Consumer Price Index excluding Owners’ Equivalent Rent (CPI ex OER) measures monthly changes in prices for a range of consumer products excluding Owners’ equivalent rent that measures changes in the cost of owner-occupied housing Jul 2022 8.10%
  RepoThe rate at which the Reserve Bank lends money to the country’s commercial banks and set by the Reserve Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee. Aug 2022 5.50%
  Prime lendingThe Prime Lending Rate is the rate of interest that commercial banks will charge their clients when issuing a loan (home loan or vehicle finance) Aug 2022 9.00%

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