Mining is the smallest contributor to the CDM economy and accounts only for 0.6%. It is the only sector that experienced negative growth (-6.7%) in the last decade. Its total contribution in 2006 summed R154 million. However, although mining may proportionally be of less significance at the district level, it remains an important sector to the Lepelle-Nkumpi where it contributes more than 20% to the local GVA. Between 1999 and 2004 the mining sector in Lepelle-Nkumpi experienced a 10% average annual growth. The mining sector in Lepelle-Nkumpi contributes 40% of the mining sector output in the district.
The district, through Lepelle-Nkumpi forms part of the Platinum Mining Cluster on the Dilokong Corridor. Three types of mining activities are being performed in this region i.e. surface, opencast and underground mining. The commissioning of the new Mussina Platinum Mine in Lebowakgomo is a major positive step for the district. The mine’s anticipated revenue for 2002 was R230 million and it is now projected at R610 million per annum.
Other mining operations in the district include LONMIN which is situated in Ga-Mphahlele. This operation employs 1800 people and approximately 60% are locally based. The total output amounts to 120 000 tons of platinum annually. By products include chrome, platinum and granite. There are also the Roibosch, Granite and Diepsloot mining operations located in or closely to Zebediela.
Mining holds major possibilities for the district, especially the Lepelle-Nkumpi Municipality. The Corridor Mining Resources is planning an exploration of 22 000 m for precious group metals in Ga-Mphahlele. The value of this operation is estimated at R100 billion and aims to produce 360 000 ounces of precious group metals annually for 22 years and to create full-time employment for 1500 people. Other prospecting opportunities include granite, chrome coal, gold, silica and platinum.
The mining sector presents a number of backward and forward linkage opportunities for the entire district, but perhaps more so for industries in Lepelle-Nkumpi and the Polokwane Municipalities because of close proximity and existing industries. Most mining inputs are sourced from outside the district. The tourism and manufacturing industries stand to benefit greatly should the backward and forward linkages be optimised.