+27 71 448 3496

SA mining’s sterling year

Share Article
Growing global demand saw the coal price reaching record levels this year. Image credit: Leon Louw for WhyAfrica

SA mining’s sterling year

South Africa’s mining sector delivered a sterling performance in the past year, despite several local and global challenges, and all stakeholders received much-welcomed value.

An analysis of these results and other factors including the economic context, infrastructure-related challenges in the sector, and industry and market analysis are explored in more detail in PwC’s newly launched SA Mine 2022 report.

SA mining’s sterling year

The industry’s financial performance exceeded expectations on most fronts. Distributions to shareholders more than doubled to R190bn, Capital expenditure grew by 36% and taxes paid increased by 14% as South African mining companies in aggregate maintained profitability at last year’s high levels. Growing demand for commodities in the sector saw record rand prices for the platinum group metals basket, iron ore, and coal, while most other South African commodity prices remained at relatively high rand levels.

A global low-carbon energy agenda remains a key focus, and this is anticipated to result in increased demand for a number of commodities in the medium to long term. Global constraints in supply of these commodities will mean increased prices and a need for investment in supply. When looking at a ‘just transition’ away from fossil fuels, the pace of this is likely to be limited by the availability of resources needed for the transition. Here, understanding the supply constraints will be key to mapping a realistic transition for the future.

According to Andries Rossouw, PwC’s Africa Energy, Utilities and Resources Leader South Africa stand to benefit from the demand growth, but whether South Africa and other resource-rich countries will benefit to the full extent will depend on their ability to address bottlenecks in supply and mine-to-market infrastructure.

“There is an obvious need to invest in the right skills, infrastructure, energy and water, and in general, creating an enabling environment for exploration, mine development, production and sales. Realising the full potential benefit of our resources and creating long-term sustainable outcomes will depend on our ability to mine cost competitively and to integrate various value chains profitably,” says Rossouw.

A cleaner, greener mining sector

When considering the volume of CO2 emitted in South Africa annually, the mining sector is a major contributor to these emissions albeit almost negligible in the global context. In 2021, up to 81.4% of South Africa’s electricity was generated from coal and considering that up to 60% of the energy used in the mining sector comes from electricity, issues of decarbonising as well as sustainable and reliable power supply are directly connected. Rossouw says that addressing these dual challenges will require the mining sector to make major investments into alternative and renewable energy sources and energy planning.

The global energy transition won’t be smooth, as was reflected in the record coal prices experienced for the year. As a coal export producer, it is essential that South Africa maximise the value obtained from its coal, through supporting global energy supply stability in these times of energy volatility.

Our report details the significant opportunity that exists for the mining sector to contribute to stable electricity supply, while meeting the growing pressures of ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) and a low-carbon economy. Such investments are not only best practice but are also considered viable and commercially attractive.

SA mining’s sterling year

WhyAfrica reports about, and publishes newsletters, magazines and research reports about natural resources and the primary sectors of African economies, and the infrastructure, equipment and engineering methods needed to extract and utilise these resources in an efficient, responsible, sustainable, ethic and environmentally friendly way, so that it will benefit the people of Africa.

Furthermore, WhyAfrica promotes Africa as an investment and travel destination, analyses the continent’s business environment and investment opportunities, and reports on how the political economy of African countries affects its development.         

WhyAfrica provides you with business intelligence that matters. Africa is our business, and we want it to be yours too. To subscribe to WhyAfrica’s free newsletter or digital magazine, and for more news on Africa, visit the website at www.whyafrica.co.za or send a direct message. WhyAfrica launched its first ever digital magazine in November 2021.

The company will undertake its annual road trip through South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, the DRC, Malawi, Tanzania and Kenya in 2023. If you are interested in sponsorship or advertising opportunities, please contact me at leon@whyafrica.co.za. We have a wide range of different packages and combo deals to give your company the greatest exposure to a rapidly growing, African readership.  

The 2022 Southern Africa Road trip issue of WhyAfrica’s magazine is now available in print. The magazine was distributed in South Africa, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Botswana during WhyAfrica’s 2022 Southern Africa Overland Road Trip, the company’s new and innovative platform. WhyAfrica has expanded its product range and now offers its readers, followers, advertisers, subscribers and partners the following:

  • Daily 24/7 online articles on WhyAfrica’s website (FREE)
  • Daily updates on WhyAfrica’s social media platforms (FREE)
  • Newsletters delivered to a handpicked audience every two weeks (FREE)
  • Two printed magazine per year distributed at large events and during our road trips across Africa featuring original, in-depth articles (FREE) with great, on-site photographs by the WhyAfrica team (FOR SALE UPON REQUEST)
  • Four digital magazines per year (FREE)
  • Live updates, video clips, articles, and podcasts during and after WhyAfrica’s annual road trips (Southern Africa in 2022, East Africa in 2023 and West Africa in 2024) (FREE)
  • Sponsorship and advertising opportunities for the annual WhyAfrica Overland Road Trips (PAID FOR)
  • A library where companies doing business in Africa can display scientific or research papers (PAID FOR)
  • A product section where companies doing business in Africa can display new offerings or services (PAID FOR)
  • Media partnerships with, and a presence at, most of the major conferences and exhibitions in the African mining, energy, agriculture, infrastructure, water management, ESG, environmental management, tourism, development, and conservation sectors (FREE)
  • WhyAfrica connects potential investors with new ventures in Africa and suppliers and service providers with existing companies in Africa (PAID FOR)
  • WhyAfrica assists companies in generating content focused on the wider African business community (PAID FOR)
  • Partnerships with companies doing business in Africa (PAID FOR)
  • Partnerships with companies thinking about expanding into Africa (PAID FOR)
  • In 2023 subscribers will have access to our in-depth articles about the African political economy, research, and country reports about the countries we visit on our road trips, and trends in the sectors that we cover (PAID FOR)
  • A WhyAfrica book is in the pipeline and if all goes according to plan, should be published towards the end of 2023 (PAID FOR)
  • The WhyAfrica consultancy arm assists and advises companies doing business in Africa through utilising our extensive global business network (PAID FOR)

 Become part of the WhyAfrica community. Tell us your story. Expand your footprint across Africa and partner with us to make the most of your African experience.           

SA mining’s sterling year 



Share Article


AgricultureEnvironmental Management & Climate ChangeEnergyESGInfrastructureMiningPolitical EconomyTourism and ConservationWater Management