South Africa Mineral Resources

Published time:15 May 2019

Metal Minerals in South Africa

South Africa is famous for its rich mineral resources. It has many kinds of mineral resources, such as manganese, platinum group metal, andalusite, gold, chromium, fluorite, diamond, vanadium and so on. At present, there are more than 70 kinds of minerals that have been proved reserves and exploited. With a total value of more than the US $200 billion, it is the richest country in the world with the highest value of mineral resources excluding energy. This paper makes an in-depth analysis of the important mineral resources including manganese, platinum group, chromium, gold. Make a list of mines and list of mining companies in South Africa.
mining south Africa
Main types of minerals mined in South Africa

1 A general overview of minerals

1.1 Manganese

South Africa is the world’s largest manganese ore resource country, with 200 million tons of manganese reserves in 2018, accounting for 29.5 percent of the world’s total reserves. The manganese deposits in South Africa are mainly concentrated in Northern Cape Province, including the Postmasburg mine and the Kalahari mine, in which the grade of the Kalahari deposit is high and the manganese ore can reach 56%. In addition, manganese deposits are also distributed in the northeast of South Africa (from Krugersdorp westward to the border of Botswana).

1.2 Platinum group metal ores

In 2018, the reserves of platinum group metals in South Africa were about 2.2 billion oz, accounts for 91% of the world’s total reserves, ranking first in the world. The platinum group metal deposits in South Africa are mainly distributed in the northwest, Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces, and the platinum deposits in the Bushveld Complex are the most concentrated.
Platinum minerals

1.3 Gold

In 2018, South African gold reserves were 6000t, accounting for 11% of the world’s total reserves, only after Australia. The Whitworth Sland basin and the Barberton area are the main gold distribution areas. In the Whitworth Sland basin mine, the gold belongs to the gold-bearing paleo gravel type, produced in the gold-bearing paleo-conglomerate which upper on the unconformity surface of Neoproterozoic and Early Proterozoic. The reserves are huge, which is the main object of gold production and mining in South Africa, and it is also the largest deposit type with the largest reserves among all kinds of gold deposits in the world. the gold in the Barberton area belongs to the green stone type( main gold-bearing quartz vein type) and produced in the Archean greenstone belts.

1.4 Chromium

In 2018, South Africa has 200 million tons of chromium ore reserves, accounting for 39% of the world’s total reserves, ranking second in the world. Chromium ore mainly occurs in the northeast area, which is divided into east and west ore belts, which is one of the world famous layered ferrochromium deposits. Chrome ore mining plays a important  roles in  the  SA mineral  processing  industry.
Chromite distribution

2 Exploitation

2.1 Manganese

In 2018, the output of manganese ore in South Africa was 5.3 million tons, accounting for 33 percent of the world’s total output. According to S & P Global Market Financial Intelligence Statistics, there are currently eight active manganese mine projects in South Africa, accounting for 40 percent of the total number of statistical mines. South African mining companies control 44.5% of manganese ore projects. At present, eight of the main manganese mining companies are a domestic corporation. The main manganese mining companies are the British Resources Group and the African Rainbow Minerals, South Africa Assore, South Africa South32, etc.

Major manganese mines in South Africa

ProjectOutput (thousand tons)Holding company
Kalagadi300Kgalagadi(SA) 50%, Karakadi manganese(SA) 40%, IDC(SA) 10%
Kudumane2700Kudumane(SA) 100%
UMK1700UMK(SA) 51%, Liwet(CH) 21.79%
Nchwaning /Gloria3628ARM(SA) 50%, Assore(SA) 50%
Hotazel3720South32(SA) 44.4%, Anglo American(UK) 29.6%
TshipiBorwa3136Jupiter(AU) 49.9%, Ntsimbintle(SA) 37.07%, OM(SG) 13.03%
Lomoteng100N&H(CN) 70%

2.2 Chromium

In last year, the output of chromium ore in South Africa was 16.6 million tons, accounting for about 50 percent of the world’s total output. According to S & P’s statistics, South Africa has a total of 30 active chromium mine projects, accounting for 43. 5% of the total number of mines. In which, 64% of the chrome projects handled in a domestic company. Major chrome mining companies in south africa.

Major chrome mines in South Africa

ProjectOutput (thousand tons)Holding company
Dwarsrivier1200Assore(SA) 100%
Stellite450Afarak(FI) 41.06%, MidUral(RU) 29.59%, UmnothoweSizwe(SA) 19.5%
Black Chrome250K2016291369(SA) 100%
ThorncliffeNAGlencore(CH) 79.5%, Melafie(SA) 20.5%
Kroondal GeminiNAGlencore(CH) 79.5%, Melafie(SA) 20.5%
Waterval WestNAGlencore(CH) 79.5%, Melafie(SA) 20.5%
DilokongNASINOSTEEL(CN) 60%, Government Republic of SA(SA) 40%

2.3 Platinum group metal ores

According to S & P Statistics, there are 154 platinum mine projects in South Africa and 69 active mine projects, accounting for 44. 8% of the total number of mines. In which, 69 of platinum mining are a domestic corporation.

Major platinum metalmines in South Africa

ProjectPalladium Output (oz)Platinum Output (oz)Holding company
Mogalakwena508900508900Anglo American Platinum(SA) 100%
Marikana303165616791Lonmin(SA) 82%, Lonmin(SA) 18%
Rustenburg218491809527Sibanye Gold(SA) 100%
Bafokeng - Rasimone87600211900Royal Bafokeng(SA) 67%, Anglo American Platinum(SA) 33%
PhosiriNANAGGTT(CN) 72%, IDC(SA) 28%
Amandelbult Section202500438000Anglo American Platinum(SA) 100%
Impala319200607800Impala(SA) 96%
Tharisa2155880355Tharisa(SA) 74%
Zondereinde84614173770Northam(SA) 100%
Booysendal North55222120065Northam(SA) 100%
Pilanesberg3715379615Sedibelo(SA) 100%
Kroondal147800278600Anglo American Platinum(SA) 50%, Sibanye Gold(SA) 50%
Union Section71400154500Sibanye Gold(SA) 85%, Bakgatla Ba Kgafela(SA) 15%
Modikwa122600126600Anglo American Platinum(SA) 50%, Bakgatla Ba Kgafela(SA) 50%

2.4 Gold

Due to a long time of gold mining and the depletion of resources in many gold mines, the gold production in South Africa has been decreasing year by year, and some mines have been shut down due to the increasing depth of mining and the gradual rise of costs. According to S & P Global Market Financial Intelligence Statistics, South Africa currently has 56 active gold mine projects, accounting for 21. 5% of the total number of statistical mines. In which, South African mining companies and foreign companies own 50% of gold projects.

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