The growing manganese fields of South Africa

South 32 (previously BHP Billiton and SAMANCOR, started the mining town of Hotazel in the previous century. Image credit: Leon Louw for WhyAfrica

The growing manganese fields of South Africa

WhyAfrica visits the burgeoning manganese fields of South Africa on a whirlwind road trip through the Northern Cape this week.   

WhyAfrica is in the towns of Hotazel and Kimberley in South Africa this week to learn more about the inner workings of the massive manganese sector in the Northern Cape. We also look at the beleaguered small scale diamond sector in South Africa and take you down memory lane to the first town where diamonds were discovered in South Africa.

Africa hosts more than 80% of the worlds known land-based ore resources of manganese metal.  About 77% of this resource occurs in the giant Kalahari Manganese Field in South Africa, with just close to 3% in Gabon (Beukes, N.J. ; Swindell, E.P.W. ; Wabo, H.)

Historically five manganese mines dominated the Kalahari: N’Chwaning and Gloria owned by Assmang, and the Hotazel Manganese, Wessels and Mamatwan owned by Samancor/BHP-Billiton.  South 32 spun off from Billiton in 2015 and took ownership of the mines. The town of Hotazel, is still owned by South 32, although the Hotazel shafts are no longer in operation.

The landscape, of course, changed significantly in 2004 with transfer of ownership of the mineral rights in South Africa from private to government ownership and today there are more than 20 mining companies operating in and around the towns of Hotazel and Kathu.

WhyAfrica will look at on the ground opportunities and challenges faced by operating companies in the Kalahari Manganese Field, and in the diamond sector of South Africa. Make sure you follow us and subscribe to our newsletters and magazines. Although we make a lot of the information available at no cost in our online posts and articles in our magazines, we will have comprehensive reports available which you will be able to buy from our library store in the future.

Leon Louw is the founder and editor of WhyAfrica. He specialises in natural resources and African affairs. Leon visits areas of interests himself and during his road trips interviews all relevant stakeholders in an area to determine possible opportunities and to identify challenges.        

WhyAfrica provides you with business intelligence that matters. Africa is our business, and we want it to be yours too. To subscribe to WhyAfrica’s free newsletter or digital magazine, and for more news on Africa, visit the website at www.whyafrica.co.za or send a direct message. WhyAfrica launched its first ever digital magazine in November 2021. The company will undertake a road trip through South Africa, Namibia, Zambia and Botswana in June and July 2022. If you are interested in sponsorship or advertising opportunities, please contact me at leon@whyafrica.co.za. We have a wide range of different packages and combo deals to give your company the greatest exposure to a rapidly growing, African readership.       

WhyAfrica is in the town of Hotazel this week. Image credit: Leon Louw for WhyAfrica

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