The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been adopted by countries and corporates across the world, including the major mining companies. This study contributes to the operationalisation of the SDGs in the mining industry by defining and measuring a set of SDG indicators for mining host communities. It identifies 15 dimensions in 13 SDGs and measures 11 socio-economic indicators (income, household goods, health, education, gender equality, water, sanitation, electricity, employment, housing, and internet access) for 95 mining host communities across South Africa. These communities are located near 198 large-scale mines and are home to over 5.6 million people. Data for the 11 indicators were visualised in ‘barometers of well-being’ for different commodities and types of communities. The results provide the first comparison of living standards of all mining host communities in South Africa, with notable differences highlighting the impact of South Africa’s past policies of racial segregation and discrimination. In line with the SDG vision to leave no-one behind, this novel SDG barometer for the mining industry focuses on communities rather than companies. It highlights the importance of data disaggregation and sectoral reporting, and the opportunity the SDGs present for improved monitoring of the minerals industry to promote inclusive socio-economic development.