South Africa is a world leader in mining. The country is famous for its abundance of mineral resources, accounting for a significant proportion of world production and reserves, and South African mining companies are key players in the global industry.
South Africa is the world’s biggest producer of platinum, and one of the leading producers of gold, diamonds, base metals and coal.

South Africa holds the world’s largest natural reserves of gold, platinum-group metals, chrome ore and manganese ore, and the second-largest reserves of zirconium, vanadium and titanium.


Lucrative opportunities exist for further downstream processing and adding value locally to iron, carbon steel, stainless steel, aluminium, platinum group metals and gold. And a wide range of materials is available for jewellery - including gold, platinum, diamonds, tiger’s eye and a variety of other semi-precious stones.

The government has targeted the downstream or beneficiated minerals industry as a growth sector, and where the commercial opportunities exist, downstream beneficiation is already taking place.

In 2009, the Chamber of Mines estimated that around R200-billion in value was added to the local economy through the intermediate and final product industries that use minerals produced by South Africa’s mines.


At the same time, there is considerable potential for the discovery of other world-class deposits in areas yet to be exhaustively explored.
The sector spans the full spectrum of the five major mineral categories - namely precious metals and minerals, energy minerals, non-ferrous metals and minerals, ferrous minerals, and industrial minerals.

Apart from its prolific mineral reserves, South Africa’s strengths include an extremely high level of technical and production expertise, and comprehensive research and development activities.
The country has world-scale primary processing facilities covering carbon steel, stainless steel and aluminium, in addition to gold and platinum. It is also a world leader of new technologies, such as a ground-breaking process that converts low-grade superfine iron ore into high-quality iron units.


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South Africa’S ECONOMY

With the growth of the secondary and tertiary industries, the relative contribution of mining to SA’s gross domestic product (GDP) ahs declined over the past 10-20 years
The sector accounts for roughly one-third of the market capitalisation of the JSE and continues to act as a magnet for foreign investment in the country
In 2009, the sector contributed about 8.8%d directly, and another 10% indirectly to the GDP
About 1 million jobs (500 000 directly)