About 23 000 jobs were lost in the mining sector between 2012 and 2019, a mining industry report compiled by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) shows.
The biggest losses in jobs were recorded in the mining of gold at 42 000 and platinum group metals (PGMs) at 8 000, Stats SA said in a September 14 release.
However, there were gains in coal of 17 000 and ‘other mining and service activities' of 5 000.
The total number of person employed in the mining sector in 2019 was 515 000. This represents a slight increase of 1%, or 3 700, in employment compared with 511 000 in 2015.
Most of the persons were employed in the North West, followed by Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Gauteng, the Northern Cape and the Free State.
Limpopo had the highest gain in employment between 2015 and 2019 at 25 000, followed by 6 000 in the Northern Cape and 3 000 in the Free State.
The provinces worst affected by job losses were Mpumalanga with 21 000, and North West with 13 000.
The number of direct mine employees decreased by 6.6%, or 23 000, from 366 000 in 2015 to 343 000 in 2019.
During the same period, there was an increase of 20%, or 20 000, in the number of subcontractor employees from 100 000 to 120 000.
Meanwhile, 79% of total income was derived from the mining of coal, PGMs, iron-ore and gold.
The total income in 2019 of R552.1-billion represented an increase of 23% compared with the income of R448.1-billion in 2015.
Mining of coal contributed R156.1-billion, or 28%, to total income, followed by PGMs, iron-ore, gold and uranium ore.
Coal and PGMs contributed almost two-thirds to income from local sales, with R90.9-billion, or 45%, contributed by coal in 2019 and R39.2-billion, or 19%, by PGMs.
PGMs, coal, iron-ore and gold accounted for 80% of income from export sales. PGMs was the largest contributor to export sales in 2019, at 29%, or R93.6-billion.
Also, 85% of sales income was generated in Mpumalanga, Limpopo, North West and the Northern Cape. In 2019, these top four provinces contributed 85% or R448.3-billion of overall sales income.