Although the Northern Cape’s historical mining operations were largely confined to copper and diamonds, global industrialisation in the 20th and 21st centuries has driven diversification into minerals such as iron ore and manganese.
Both these minerals are used in the steel industry, and the burgeoning Chinese urbanisation has been a significant consumer of these minerals over the past few decades.
The Northern Cape is highly prospective, and over the years has attracted a number of global mining giants. However, there are also a large and growing number of independent smaller local operators, who have mines and continue to mine in the area. Through employment, training, and social and community development, all these mines make an important economic contribution to the province and its people where roughly 15,000 people work in the sector.