Mining and Quarrying


KwaZulu-Natal’s resources consist mainly of sand and aggregate and most mining operations are in those commodities.

Ilmenite, rutile and zircon are mined on a large scale for their titanium and zirconium contents from aeolian beach dunes in the northern areas of KwaZulu-Natal. Large ore reserves are held by Richards Bay Minerals, a leading producer of the heavy minerals, which mines the 17 km stretch of land along a 2 km strip of coastline north of Richards Bay (the City of uMhlathuze). Richards Bay Minerals meets about a quarter of the world’s demands for these products, generating billions of Rands in foreign currency. The region is rich in other minerals such as aluminium, anthracite and calcitic marbles. 

In the northern interior district of Newcastle-Vryheid and in the Nongoma area, the coal consists mainly of anthracite. Much of the anthracite is railed to the coal terminal at Richards Bay, from where it is exported. Richards Bay Coal Terminal is the world’s largest coal exporting terminal. 

Coal in the province is of viable quality, but a significant tonnage of high-grade coal currently remains un-mined. Extraction of such coal offers opportunities for small and medium enterprises.

Sand and aggregate are the largest tonnage construction materials in KwaZulu-Natal, with Lafarge, Holcim and WH Lemmon-Warde, being the dominant producers.

Idwala Industrial Holdings mines limestone and shale near Port Shepstone at their Idwala Carbonates Mine. NPC Cimpor also owns an open-cast mine near Port Shepstone, which produces limestone, sand and shale.


KZN Mining and Quarrying

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