South Africa is one of the most valuable nations in the world due to its vast reserves of minerals, many of which are yet to be tapped. Its reserves are estimated to be worth around R20.3 trillion. The country has the world’s fifth-largest mining sector in terms of GDP value.
According to a report by the US Geological Survey, the country has the world’s largest reserves of manganese and platinum group metals (PGMs), and among the largest reserves of gold, diamonds, chromite ore and vanadium.
Here is a list of the available mineral resources in the country.
South Africa is the world largest producer of gold. It also has the largest gold reserves in the world. Majority of the goldfields were found in Johannesburg but now the major producing areas are located around Klerksdorp and Evander, although the economic viability of this mineral has declined since the 1970s.
is another very important mineral produced in South Africa. Very large deposits of coal are found beneath the Mpumalanga and northern Free State Highveld. Coal is used locally to generate electricity but the majority of the mined coal is exported to East Asia and Europe.
It is the major electricity generation mineral, contributing about 59% of the nation’s total primary energy supply in 2018. The six major producing coal in South Africa include Anglo Coal, BHP Billiton Coal South Africa (BECSA), Exxaro Resources, Glencore Xstrata Coal, Sasol Mining and Optimum Coal Holdings (OCH).
South Africa is the world’s largest manufacturer of platinum, accounting for about 68.32% production of the total world platinum production in 2017. The major platinum producing areas include the Merensky Reef, the Upper Group 2 (UG2) Reef, and the Platreef.
South Africa is currently the largest producer of this mineral in the world. The major mining areas are located in the northeastern part of the country such as Rustenburg and Steelpoort, although northern Pretoria is blessed with an abundance of these minerals.
The South African diamond-producing industry is one of the largest in the world. Initially found in the Kimberly area of the country, diamond is now mined in several places.
South Africa has about 42 different licensed diamond mining companies, of which the major players are De Beers Consolidated Mines Group and Trans Hex, both of which saw a significant increase in their total output in the previous year.
In 2017, South Africa reported a total diamond production of 9.7 million carats, which is estimated to be worth USD 3.1 billion.
6. Iron Ore
huge deposits of iron ore are found in the Northern Cape province.
The total cement production capacity of South Africa is 14.8 Mt/year. It has four cement producers, with Pretoria Portland Cement Co. being the leading producer.
It is majorly found at the Waterval, Boshoek, Horizon, Kroondal and Helena Thorncliffe mines, with a total capacity of 5.57 Mt/year.
South Africa is a leading producer of andalusite, kyanite, rare-earth elements, and wollastonite.