Mining in South Africa


Mining in South Africa has been one of the leading industries in one of the most advanced economies in Africa. Profitable mining started in 1867 with the discovery of a diamond in the banks of the Orange River.

What is mined there?

In South Africa they mine palladium, coal, gold, diamonds, platinum, chromium and uranium.

  • Diamond: South Africa has been a world leader in diamond production. The South African mines of diamond are controlled by De Beers.De Beers’ operations represented the 94% of South Africa diamond production of 11,900,000 carats. Diamond production in 2005 increased to more than 15,800,000 carats.
  • Gold: In 2002 South Africa represented a 15% of the total production of gold. South African gold exports were valued in 15.8 millions of USD in 2005. It was estimated in 2002 that South Africa held the 50% of the world’s gold resources and around the 40% of reserves
  • Platinum and palladium: South Africa produces more platinum and similar metals than any other country in the world. The 78% of the platinum produced in 2005 was produced in South Africa. In 2010, this metal left 3.82 millions USD as exports.
  • Chromium: It is another leading product in this country’s mining industry. This metal is mined from 10 different mines across the country. South Africa produced the 100% of all the chromium produced in 2005.
  • Uranium: South Africa holds the second largest uranium reserves of the world. The NUFCOR (Nuclear Fuels Corporation of South Africa) started in 1967 to process the uranium of the country.
  • Coal: South Africa is one of the seven largest coal producers in the world. Around the 15% of the country GDP was spent on energy by 2005, and the 77% of that was derived from coal.

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