South Africa is so blessed with several mineral resources that contribute to its economic growth and general development. Apart from having the likes of diamonds and gold, the country can also boast of chrome. It was made known that she has about 70% of the world’s total chrome reserves.
Chrome is one pretty lucrative commodity, and have seen real production growth over the last 15 years in South Africa. There has been a rise in demand in the export market for SA’s chrome, which rose from 762 164 tons back then in 2008 to four million tons in 2018. In that year alone, it fetched over ZAR 21 billion in 2018.
Mining is a big deal in South Africa, obviously due to the several minerals deposited in different parts of the country. As far as chrome is concerned, it can also be found in different places in South Africa, although the Bushveld Igneous Complex ores in the Steelpoort Valley are prominent.
Chrome is mined by several local and international chrome mining firms in the country. Here are the firm names and list of chrome mines in South Africa:
List Of Chrome Mines In South Africa
- International Ferro Metal: Ferrochrome Plant (Buffelsfontein, North West province)
- International Ferro Metal: Sky Chrome Mine (North West Province)
- Glencore Xstrata: Lion Ferrochrome Smelter Expansion (Mpumalanga)
- Tata Steel Company: Ferrochrome Smelter (KwaZulu Natal)
- Samancor: Lwala Open Cast Chome Project (Mpumalanga)
- Samancor: MooiNooi Tailing Plant (North West Province)
- Samancor: Tweefontien Development Project (North West Province)
Details of The Chrome Mines In South Africa
International Ferro Metal: Ferrochrome Plant (Buffelsfontein, North West province)
The Plant is International Ferro Metals’ – a popular ferrochrome producer, whose aim is to develop and ensure successful mining and mineral processing operations. They are in charge of one of South Africa’s most popular chrome mines and have a reputation for being a firm bent on using ethically and environmentally responsible means in carrying out their activities.
The Mine is located in Buffelsfontein, 100 km northwest of Johannesburg, South Africa, and they produce ferrochrome – which is an important ingredient as far as stainless steel production is concerned.
International Ferro Metal: Sky Chrome Mine (North West Province)
Also operated by International Ferro Metal, Sky Chrome Mine is another one in South Africa, where the essential metal is produced to serve its various purposes.
Glencore Xstrata: Lion Ferrochrome Smelter Expansion (Mpumalanga)
Here is another chrome mine in South Africa, and it is located in Mpumalanga – where the production of the precious metal is carried out.
- Tata Steel Company: Ferrochrome Smelter (KwaZulu Natal)
Managed by Tata Steel – which has a reputation for being one of the most efficient global steel producers in the world, here is another chrome mine in South Africa. Its managers are well experienced in the sector – as they don’t only mine, but also engage in beneficiation,.serving the local and international markets.
Samancor: Lwala Open Cast Chome Project (Mpumalanga)
Also in Mpumalanga, there is another place where chrome is derived in South Africa, and it is managed by Samancor.
Samancor: MooiNooi Tailing Plant (North West Province)
Also Samancor’s, MooiNooi Tailing Plant is located in the North West Province.
Samancor: Tweefontien Development Project (North West Province)
Samancor pulled its weight behind this to ensure its aim is met as far as chrome is concerned.
As far as mining in South Africa is concerned, there are always several opportunities to capitalize on, particularly in the chrome mining industry. Tons of investors have been investing in the sector since the mineral was discovered some time back, and it is interesting to know that the industry has also provided tons of jobs for people in the country.
As stated earlier, this commodity saw real production growth over the last 15 years. There is an increase in the demand for the mineral, and as of 2018, it was made known that it fetched over ZAR 21 billion.
Prominent Chrome Mining Projects in South Africa
As stated earlier, the mining industry is flourishing in South Africa, and it was even made known that despite various challenges, it is now profitable. Chrome has seen real production growth, which came as a result of the fact that more important stakeholders are giving these commodities the attention it deserves. As expected, there are tons of efforts revolving around the commodity.
Here are some of South Africa’s prominent chrome mining projects :
Moeijelik Chromite Mining Complex in Limpopo:
This was managed by Bauba Platinum and, with a capital value of R24 500 000 in 2019, is located on the Eastern Limb of the Bushveld Complex
Ruighoek Chrome Mine in Rustenburg:
Situated in the Western Limb of the Bushveld Complex with a capital value of R45 686 599 680 in 2019, Minerals Technologies is behind this.
Mecklenburg Mine in Limpopo:
This is a mix of open-cast and underground mining and is situated on the Eastern Limb of the Bushveld Complex. Experts operations ensured the converting of two furnaces from producing silico-manganese to ferrochrome
Uses of Chrome
So, you might have been wondering already why huge attention is given to chrome, as well as why it is a big deal in places like South Africa (with various mining activities going on here and there to ensure its production).
Well, it has several uses and benefits, being exploited by those who value its worth. The chromium extracted from chromite is utilised in chrome plating. Additionally, alloying for the production of corrosion-resistant superalloys and stainless steel (as well as nichrome).
Also, Chromium is used as a pigment for glazes, glass, as well as paint. Additionally, it is used as an oxidizing agent for tanning leather.
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Finally, on Chrome mines in South Africa, it is also sometimes used as a gemstone, as well as some other purposes it is serving. With mining operations going on in South Africa, more chrome will be produced, and more benefits will be enjoyed by investors and other stakeholders