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.