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Is the Northern Cape the new mining boom province?

Historic mines in the mineral-rich Northern Cape have a new lease of life thanks to the rise of smarter technology

The dusty, sparsely populated Northern Cape may seem far removed from the notion of the fourth industrial revolution and the rapid technological advances that characterise it.

But the province, possibly more than any other in SA, has the potential for a mining boom in new-tech minerals: zinc, nickel, lead, copper and cobalt. These are key elements in the manufacture of smartphones, electric vehicles and renewable power systems.

And with healthy prices and a good outlook for base metals, and other minerals key to new technologies, a few companies are looking to revive and even expand the Northern Cape’s proven resources. These include smaller players like Orion Minerals (listed on the Australian Stock Exchange and the JSE) and Daphne Mashile-Nkosi’s Kalahari Resources, as well as big names like Kumba Iron Ore.