Stats SA said yesterday the iron ore sector was the largest positive contributor to the increase, up 42.9% and contributing 3.9 percentage points.

Twelve months earlier, the industry was still ramping up from a nationwide lockdown put in place to address the spread of COVID-19.

Seasonally adjusted mining production rose 4.1% month-on-month but was down 1.9% for the three months ending July, due to drops in May and June.

The department said mineral sales at current prices were up 32.6% in July, yoy, with higher prices prompting a 92.8% rise for PGMs and 71% for iron ore.

Mining jobs fall

A separate report released yesterday by Statistics South Africa showed the number of jobs in the country’s mining industry fell from 538,144 in 2012 to 514,859 in 2019.

It said the biggest drop, of 42,091 jobs, was in the gold and uranium sector, followed by 8,190 job losses in platinum group metals, however coal added 17,000.

Overall job numbers have fallen further, to 450,000 this year according to the Minerals Council South Africa.

Stats SA’s Mining Industry 2019 report said the industry’s income was R552.1 billion in 2019, up 23% from 2015.

It said coal and PGM miners had contributed the most to 2019 income, about 28% each, followed by iron ore with 12%, then gold and uranium on 11%.

The figures were from a periodic census of mines conducted every three to five years.

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