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Mining

Mining contributes about 30% to provincial gross domestic product (GDP). According to the Limpopo Business 2012 publication, the province has 41% of South Africa's platinum group metals (PGMs), 90% of South Africa's red granite resources and approximately 50% of the country's coal reserves.

According to the Chamber of Mines of South Africa, Limpopo is home to:

  • The biggest diamond mine in South Africa (Venetia)
  • The biggest copper mine in South Africa (Palamin)
  • The biggest open-pit platinum mine in South Africa (RPM)
  • The biggest vermiculite mine in the world (Foskor)
  • One of the major iron-ore producing mines in South Africa (Kumba)

Minerals found in Limpopo include:

  • Coal
  • Platinum
  • Diamonds
  • Phosphate
  • Iron Ore
  • Chromite
  • Antimony
  • Andalusite

Waterberg District

Extensive current and planned mining activities are mainly located in the Lephalale area which has the third biggest coal reserves in country. Other mining activities include iron ore mining in the Thabazimbi area, and extensive platinum reserves in the Mokopane and Northham areas.

In the Waterberg District municipality, the following mining activities are found:

  • Andalusite
  • Iron Ore
  • Platinum

Greater Sekhukhune District

The major mining activity in the District occurs within the Dilokong Corridor, which stretches largely across Tubatse and Fetakgomo. In the Greater Sekhukhune District, the following mining activities are found:

  • Chromite
  • Platinum

Mopani District

In the Mopani District, the following minerals are mined:

  • Antimony
  • Copper
  • Phosphate

Vhembe District

The most important mineral occurrences and zones in the Vhembe District include:

  • Beit Bridge Complex / Limpopo Belt which hosts a number of minerals, the most important of which include: Iron, Dolomite, Diamonds, Marble and Graphite.
  • The Tuli, Mopane, Tshipise and Pafuri coal fields;
  • Tshipise magnesite field;
  • Mussina copper;
  • Schiel Complex; and
  • Soutpansberg group host a number of minerals associated with corundum, feldspar, garnet, graphite, kieselguhr, limestone, phosphates and talc.

Capricorn District

According to the Disrict IDP, the mining resources in the Capricorn District are predominantly clustered in the Lepelle-Nkumpi LM. The District, through Lepelle-Nkumpi, forms part of the Platinum Mining Cluster on the Dilokong Corridor. In Lebowakgomo, the new Musina Platinum Mine has been commissioned.

In the Capricorn District, the following minerals are mined:

  • Coal
  • Platinum
  • Silica
  • Calcrete

The table below shows the total Rand output of the mining industry in Limpopo and compared to the other provinces in South Africa.

industries-table-1 industries-figure-1

Transportation

The mining industry uses the road, rail, and conveyor belt mode to transport the products to their destinations. The rail transports the largest volume of mineral products.