5 South African Natural Resources That Have Changed The World

South Africa is one of the wealthiest countries in terms of natural resources. It is a leading mining country and it is renowned for its mineral resources, which make up a large portion of the world’s reserves. South Africa’s mineral reserves are one of the most valuable in the world. The reserves are estimated to be worth about $2.5 trillion. Its platinum and manganese reserves are the largest in the world. The country is also one of the leading producers of chromite ore, vanadium, gold, and diamonds. South Africa’s mining industry is one of the leading players and it makes a significant contribution to the world. Here are 5 South African natural resources that have changed the world.

Top 5 South African Natural Resources That Has Made a Huge Impact to the World


South Africa produces more than 10% of the world’s gold. Its gold exports are worth billions of dollars. The country has about 50% of the global gold reserves. Most of the gold are exported to various countries making it one of the 5 South African natural resources that have made a big impact to the world. There are more than 30 large-scale mines in the country. The annual Indaba Mining Conference takes place in Cape Town, South Africa bringing together mining stakeholders from over 1000 companies. This mineral was discovered in the late 1800s and has grown to become one of the most important industries for the country and the world. It is mostly mined in the Rand and the Free State.

A pile of nice shiny gold bars - south african natural resources

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South Africa is synonymous with diamonds, which were first discovered in the 1800s making the nation a leading diamonds producer. There are several diamond mines in the country and it exports millions of carats every year. The country supplies diamonds to established jewelry shops in various parts of the world including New York. Diamond production creates millions of jobs for people within and outside the country.



South Africa is among the top ferrochrome producers in the world. The country exports it raw to different nations. Ferrochrome brings in significant revenue to the country and creates several jobs. South Africa is home to 72% of the globe’s chromite reserves. The country has invested in the most advanced production equipment and this has allowed it to rival some of the other leading producers such as China. South Africa produces about 4.8 million tons of ferrochrome every year.

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Ferrochrome - south african natural resources


South Africa has more than 80% of the globe’s platinum reserves. This has helped to make its platinum mining industry one of the most successful. South Africa and Russia produce about 90% of the world’s platinum. Platinum mining is concentrated in the Merensky Reef, which extends from Southern Zimbabwe to Pretoria and Rustenburg. These areas have some of the biggest platinum mines including Bafokeng Rasimone Platinum Mines and Rustenburg Platinum Mines. Platinum is highly valuable especially for the automotive industry, which requires metal to produce exhaust systems. The mineral is used in catalytic converters that are designed to pacify dangerous gases released by cars such as carbon monoxide. The converters turn the harmful gas into water vapor and carbon dioxide. Concerns about global warming and how human action influences the environment has increased demand for this mineral. This makes South Africa an important country because it offers a valuable mineral



Vanadium is considered one of the most abundant elements in the world. South Africa produces about 23% of the world’s vanadium. It is the third leading producer of this mineral after China and Russia. Most of the vanadium is required for steel production. This metal helps to enhance the strength of the steel. A combination of steel and vanadium is used to produce crankshafts, piston rods, axles, and armor plates. The mineral is also used in producing color televisions and ceramics.

Vanadium, crystal bar

All of these resources are widely used in industries across the globe. One of the most striking things about these natural resources is that they are abundant. Some of them were first discovered in the late 1800s and more are still being discovered in different parts, making the country a leading mineral producer. The country’s mining industry affects other industries in different parts of the world. It creates jobs and provides revenue for a large number of individuals and companies. This is an insight and it is worth noting that these resources continue to redefine the world in a great way.

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Andile Smith
Andile Smith
Andile provides articles on anything from Politics, Sports, History and entertainment to funny, creepy and weird. His passion for writing allows him to take what is ordinary and transform it into a real masterpiece. He's a true storyteller with a passion for tech and literature
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