Platinum Group Metals (PGMs) have overtaken coal as the biggest revenue generator in South Africa’s mining industry for the first time since 2010, according to the PwC SA Mine 2020 released earlier today.
Revenue from mining houses jumped 38 percent in 2020 to R594 billion from R431bn a year earlier with PGMs generating 28 percent, the largest portion of revenue.
Gold mining companies had an increase of 35 percent in revenue, and revenue for the ‘other mining’ segments increased by 7 percent, said the report.
Andries Rossouw, PwC Africa Energy Utilities & Resources Leader, told journalists that PGMs had generated the largest portion of revenue demonstrating a 56 percent increase from the previous year.
“When we started this publication in 2009 PGMs was the leading revenue generator, and they fell back to coal and we are pleased to see PGMs back on top again, followed by gold, and then iron ore,” said Rossouw.
PGMs include platinum, palladium, rhodium, iridium, osmium, and ruthenium, known for their purity, high melting points and unique catalytic properties, and are also extremely resistant to corrosion.
PGMs are used in several industrial processes, technologies and commercial applications.
The report said however that the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic was evident from April 2020, with reductions in revenue being seen across the industry.
“South African PGMs and gold are mainly mined in deep-level underground mines and were, therefore, hardest hit.
PGM and gold producers indicated that they expect to reach full production levels by the end of the calendar year,” said the report.