Vhembe’s major investor, De Beers, is moving to ensure that the district will remain South Africa’s biggest diamond producer and an increasingly important ecotourism destination.

De Beers’ Venetia diamond mine which has invested some R4 billion to extend its open pit operations and is now considering spending another R6 billion to dig for diamonds underground. De Beers is keen to procure more goods and services from Vhembe suppliers in line with the Vhembe LED Programme and the Limpopo Provincial Growth and Development Strategy.Vhembe has an abundance of coal, but mining the deposits is a challenge which is only now being taken up. With some 2 billion tons of reserves, the expansive Soutpansberg coal field which stretches across central Vhembe has only one mine: Exxaro’s Tshikondeni colliery which produces hard coking coal for the South African steel industry but which has a remaining life of less than 10 years.

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