The Northern Cape has become a highly prospective area of the country. Historically the area has hosted important copper mines, while many of the region’s diamond mines have operated here for many years.
Latterly the Northern Cape has become a signicant province for iron and manganese mining, while the massive sulphide deposits in the area also contain the base metals such as zinc, lead and cobalt – which are now gaining a reputation for so-called high-tech metals, as their properties become exploited by technologists and industrial manufacturers.
Water is required for all mining activities. It is fair to say that in the Northern Cape the scarcity of water presents one of the most serious environmental challenges to mining operations. The lack of water renders the area arid, dry and dusty which adds to any mining operation’s environmental priorities, given that large areas of land are disturbed which results in mineral and dust residue, which could have a detrimental effect on surrounding communities. In addition, the arid surrounds render much of the floral specimens in the area threatened, which places a serious burden on mining companies to preserve the biodiversity in the area.