Mining in South Africa

Is mining in South Africa a key industry for your business?

Gain access to the Africa’s largest online mining information service with a subscription to Africa Mining IQ! With tailored subscriptions starting at R8 500 per month, AMIQ gives you the intelligence you need to grow your reach in South Africa’s Mining Industry.

How can a subscription to Africa Mining IQ grow your
business mining in South Africa?

By providing the most in-depth, up-to-the-minute intelligence on South Africa’s mining projects, including key contact details for Mine Owners and Project Engineers/EPCs, companies can successfully target new projects early in their specification.

Drilling companies, surveyors, engineers, testing labs, processing plants, equipment, caterers and soft service suppliers, logistics companies, and more, use Africa Mining IQ to find relevant business opportunities in South Africa’s mining industry.

  • Tracking, reporting, insight & analysis of over 450 SA mining projects
  • Locate projects by scope, phase, location or mineral
  • SMS & email alerts of updates to tracked projects
  • Key contact info for mine owners, engineers & suppliers for each project – guaranteed

Looking for new opportunities in the South Africa mining industry? Get the intelligence you need with Africa Mining IQ subscription, from R8 500 p/m.


Here's why South Africa remains a key investment destination for mining

South Africa remains a top global producer of a diverse range of minerals, including gold, coal, platinum, palladium, manganese, titanium and uranium. In 2017, mining in South Africa had an overall industry value of R 452.67 billion (USD 33.17 billion) in 2017, and accounted for roughly 60% of the country’s exports by value for the year.

Although the country has a mature, well developed mining sector, having been the focus of sustained, large-scale mining capitalisation for over 100 years, it remains a key mining centre with an abundance of diverse mining opportunities: the country’s platinum group metals reserves, expected to last another 335 years, and its coal reserves 256 years, for example, will continue to see large-scale investments as commodity markets continue to recover.

Currently, mining projects in South Africa:

  • represent 8% of the country's GDP
  • boasts a total annual income of nearly R500 billion
  • are one of the country's major employers, employing around 500 000 workers directly
  • are the largest contributor by value to black economic empowerment in the economy

With each project tracked, analysed and monitored over its development, from grassroots and pre-feasibility to fully operational, Africa Mining IQ is the ultimate intelligence resource for mining in South Africa.

Get the latest info on mining in South Africa with a subscription to Africa Mining IQ

Jwaneng Mine

The Jwaneng mine is expected to yield 102 million carats during the expansion project


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History of mining in South Africa

Mining in South Africa began with chance discovery of a diamond on the banks of the Orange River in 1867. These alluvial diamond were spread over a wide area, initially in yellow earth and then below in blue hard rock that would come to be called kimberlite, after the rapidly developing diamond mining town Kimberley. By the 1880s, the mines around Kimberley produced around 95% of the world diamonds.

Yet this rapidly developing mineral industry was soon eclipsed by the discovery of gold in South Africa, on the farm of Langlaagte on the Witwatersrand in 1886. This was the world’s highest value reef, accounting for about 40% of its total gold reserves. The country’s first appreciable tonnages of coal were also found in the Witwatersrand Basin around this time.

Towns and villages developed rapidly in the following years around the reef. Johannesburg, located initially on a short gap in the East-West running reef, was the focal point of these activities and today, as Africa’s primary financial hub, it is home to some of the world’s largest mining companies.

Since its peak in 1980, when it contributed 21% of the country’s GDP, mining in South Africa has been overtaken by finance, government, trade and transport industries, but continues to be a critical economic activity as the country’s sixth largest economic sector.

As major global industry, mining in South Africa boasts a high level of technical and production expertise, as well as wide-ranging research and development activities. The country has world-class primary processing facilities, covering carbon steel, stainless steel and aluminium in addition to platinum and gold beneficiation.

Two of the world’s largest mining companies have their origins in South Africa. BHP Billiton was the result of a merger between South Africa’s Billiton and the Australian BHP Group. Anglo American Plc., with a primary listing on the London Stock Exchange and secondary listing in Johannesburg, owns many major subsidiaries, including Anglo Platinum, Anglo Coal, Impala Platinum and Kumba Iron Ore.

List of minerals in South Africa

South Africa is the world’s largest producer of chrome (14 000 Mt), platinum group metals (193 t), manganese (4.7 million Mt) and vermiculite (210 000 t). South Africa is the world’s second largest producer of ilmenite (1.17 Mt), rutile (130 000 t) and zirconium (370 000 t).

About 40% of the world’s total gold reserves are found in the Witwatersrand area. Iron ore is mined in Sishen and Thabazimbi, with more than 80% of South Africa’s iron ore mined in these areas. The north western part of South Africa is famous for platinum and diamond mining. This area accounts for more than 90% of South Africa's platinum production. Five of the largest platinum-producing mines are located in the Rustenburg area.

Diamonds are mined mainly in Koster, Lichtenburg, Bloemhof and Christiana. Major coalfields are found in the Highveld and Lowveld regions of South Africa, with Witbank and Ermelo being the major mining hubs.

South Africa is the world’s leading vanadium supplier and produces almost 10 000 tonnes of vanadium oxide, 9 000 tonnes of ferrovanadium, and 70 000 tonnes of vanadium bearing slag. The Bushveld Complex, just north of the capital Pretoria, contains some of the largest known deposits of vanadiferous magnetite ore in the world.

Gold mining in South Africa

Across the globe, where new discoveries of gold are becoming increasingly rare and in inhospitable locations, South Africa’s goldfields still offer excellent opportunities for gold miners, with estimated reserves of 6 000 tons. Gold mining in South Africa accounts for around 10% of global gold production.

The Witwatersrand reef is now mined at over 4 km below the surface, with TauTona Mine (Western Deep No. 3 Shaft) and Mponeng Gold Mine near Carletonville the deepest mines in the world.

Africa Mining IQ currently tracks 64 gold projects in South Africa along all phases of mine life:

    Gold mining in progress
  • 16 grassroots projects
  • 14 projects in pre-feasibility
  • 5 projects in feasibility status
  • 4 active projects
  • 15 operational projects
  • 1 bankable project
  • 2 completed projects
  • 7 dormant projects

For a complete, detailed list of gold mines in South Africa, contact Africa Mining IQ today!
Call us on
+27 11 830 2132 or send us an enquiry.

Where is gold mined in South Africa?

Gold is found in the Witwatersrand Basin, on the Kaapvaal Craton. This basin stretches an arc of roughly 400 km across the Northwest, Free State and Gauteng provinces, with the gold occurring only along its northern and western edges.

How much gold is produced in South Africa?

South Africa’s gold production has been stable for the past few years, where it has averaged around 140 tons per annum. To date in 2017, sales of gold are valued at R 6.18 billion (USD 456 million).

How was gold discovered in South Africa?

Though there had been minor gold discoveries near present-day Roodepoort in 1884, the discovery of the main reef is conventionally credited to a prospector by the name of George Harrison, who made the findings on Langlaagte Farm in 1886.

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Coal mining in South Africa

The sixth biggest coal-exporter, producing around 260 tonnes per annum, the coal mining industry in South Africa is a large and developed complex, with reserves over 200 years. The coal fields around Witbank and Ermelo, in Mpumalanga province, have been the traditional hubs of coal mining in South Africa, though increasing emphasis is being placed on coal fields in the Limpopo province such as Waterberg.

Coal mining in progressAround 70 Mt of higher grade coal is exported per annum, primarily through the Richards Bay Coal Terminal, which has a sophisticated bulk materials handling and dedicated rail line infrastructure. 182.7 Mt of coal is consumed locally in South Africa each year, with Eskom the majority consumer.

Looking for the ultimate in detailed, real time intelligence for coal mining in South Africa?

Africa Mining IQ tracks and monitors 110 coal projects in the country across all phases of development:

  • 7 grassroots projects
  • 13 projects in pre-feasibility
  • 15 projects with feasibility status
  • 6 active projects
  • 31 operational projects
  • 5 bankable projects
  • 5 completed projects
  • 23 dormant projects

67 of these projects are in Mpumalanga, with 19 in northern KwaZulu-Natal, 14 in Limpopo, and a smaller number of mines in Gauteng, North West, Free State and the Eastern Cape.

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Diamond mines in South Africa

South Africa’s first diamond was discovered in 1867 near Hopetown, in the Karoo, and weighed 21.25 carats. Two years later, diamonds were found in lucrative concentrations around Kimberly, in the kimberlite diamond matrixes.

These same matrixes were also found in the Transvaal, with the Cullinan and Venetia mines being world-famous diamond producers, including the world’s largest gem-quality rough diamond, the Cullinan Diamond, which weighed 3 106 carats.

Diamond miningSouth Africa is the world’s fourth largest producer of diamonds, with production around 8.15 Mct of diamonds annually – 7.79 Mct of which continue to be derived from kimberlite. Smaller marine mining operations yield approximately 27 302 ct per year.

Africa Mining IQ tracks and monitors 41 diamond projects in South Africa across all stages of development:

  • 5 grassroots projects
  • 1 project in pre-feasibility
  • 2 active projects
  • 10 operational projects
  • 1 completed projects
  • 18 dormant projects

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Platinum mines in South Africa

The first platinum nuggets were discovered in South Africa in 1924 and today, platinum mining in South Africa accounts for about 80% of the world’s total supplies, while its palladium represents around 40% of the world’s gross production. PGM is concentrated in the 2 billion-year old Bushveld Igneous Complex, especially in complexes found in the Limpopo and North West provinces.

The platinum mining industry in South Africa has increased production from 163 tons in 2010 to almost 200 tons in 2017, with total sales of over R 9 billion.

Africa Mining IQ currently tracks 82 platinum projects across South Africa across all stages of development:

  • 4 grassroots projects
  • 20 projects in pre-feasibility
  • 7 projects with feasibility status
  • 10 active projects
  • 20 operational projects
  • 1 bankable projects
  • 2 completed projects
  • 14 dormant projects

34 of these platinum projects are located in Limpopo; 30 in North West; 11 in Mpumalanga; 3 in Gauteng; and 1 in the Free State province.

Click here to find out more about Africa’s largest mine information services or call us on +27 11 830 2132.

New mining projects in South Africa

Africa Mining IQ lists 342 new mining projects in South Africa on its database. These include:

  • 88 coal projects
  • 59 PGM projects
  • 47 industrial projects
  • 43 gold projects
  • 30 diamonds projects
  • 21 iron ore projects
  • 9 manganese projects
  • 8 nickel projects
  • 7 uranium projects
  • 6 chrome projects
  • 4 copper projects

With Africa Mining IQ, you get critical project intelligence related to mining business opportunities in South Africa, with key contacts to mine owners, suppliers, project engineers and other mining companies in South Africa guaranteed, enabling you to target specific mining tenders in South Africa to grow your business.

Our team of dedicated industry researchers monitor over 1 850 mining projects, and deliver project updates straight to your inbox as they happen!

  • Key contacts for all mining projects
  • Discover new mining projects! Explore projects by scope, location, value or mineral
  • Real-time charting and analysis reports identify and track project cycles
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Serious about growing your business within the mining sector in South Africa? Get all the intelligence you need for mining in South Africa with a tailored subscription to Africa Mining IQ!

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