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Mining Industry Of South Africa Politics Essay

Info: 1296 words (5 pages) Essay
Published: 1st Jan 2015 in Politics

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South Africas economy is based on the production and exporting of minerals. It has contributed to the countrys development. South Africa is one of the most diverse mineral producers. The main reason for the growth of the economy was the discovery of gold and diamonds. It brought in foreigners from all over the country making the exporting rates expand. Being one of the largest exporters in the world, South Africa has a very advanced and rich economy.

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Mining in South Africa has been the main driving force behind the history and development of Africa’s most advanced and richest economy (Mining Industry of South Africa). In 1886, when gold was discovered on the banks of Witwatersrand, it triggered thousands of foreigners to come to the region (Mining Industry of South Africa). The gold mining industry continued to grow throughout the region. South Africa has developed through the entire life-cycle of the mining industry. Gold mining propelled the growth of South Africa’s national economy into a phase of self-sustained development, and created an integrated labor market across southern Africa. It also played a key role in shaping the racial oligarchy that dominated South Africa until the fall of apartheid in the 1990’s. (The Power of Mining). Being the number two exporter in gold and the number three exporter in diamonds and coal, mining in South Africa is a major contributor to the economy and the establishment of the nation’s infrastructure. 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 (Minerals in South Africa). It is the world’s largest producer of manganese, platinum, and chrome (Mining industry of South Africa). The Gold Rush triggered many to flock to the region. The gold rush led to the establishment of Johannesburg, South Africa (South Africa). It was part of the Mineral Revolution. (Mining Industry of South Africa). South Africa became one of the most successful countries in result of the Gold Rush in South Africa. (Mining Industry of South Africa).

There are very many struggles for miners in South Africa. The conditions are similar to those elsewhere. Silica dust is an ever-present potential hazard so that all drilling dust and loose rock has to be wetted down at all times to prevent silicosis, a lethal disease that attacks the lungs of miners (Conditions in South Africa Mining). Working conditions are very intense. Ventilation requirements to keep working conditions tolerable are huge and the average quantity of ventilating air only circulates 6 cubic meters per second (Conditions in South Africa). Another serious problem is the heat. In the deeper mines, refrigeration of the intake air is often necessary to keep conditions tolerable (Conditions in South Africa). The South African mining industry is frequently criticized for its poor safety record and high number of fatalities but conditions are improving (Conditions in South Africa). The roof of caves collapsing, machinery, transportation are classed as the general main reasons for deaths for miners in South Africa. With approximately two-thirds are in coal mines. The extreme pressure at depths and continual movement of rock cause the caves to collapse (Mining Industry of South Africa). Without using safety belts, working below ground would cause the cave to collapse resulting in getting crushed by the deadly combination of rocks. (Mining Industry of South Africa). The collapsing of ground is unpredictable, but with its increasing depth, the difficulties in providing continuous roof suppose as on coal mines face violence. Many accidents occur per year. Mining tunnels collapse while working, causing thousands of deaths per year. The mining death rate has decreased in the past years. (Mining Industry of South Africa).

South Africa is accounted for 15% of the world’s gold production. Gold was discovered on the banks of Witwatersrand in 1886. The gold mining industry continued to grow and expand in the region of South Africa. Gold discoveries played an important role on the Gold Rush. It triggered thousands to come to the region making the exporting and producing rates rise. South Africa’s economy is built on gold and diamond mining, the sector is an important foreign exchange earner, with gold accounting for more than one-third of exports. (Mineral Wealth). South Africa is the fourth largest producer of diamonds in the world. Diamonds were discovered in 1867 in the Cape Colony, which is now a province in South Africa. (South Africa). Diamond production has increased in South Africa becoming more accessible to Western society with it’s growing wealth. Diamonds come from volcanoes, and today South Africa maintains its position as a major diamond producer. (South Africa). South Africa has a diverse range of diamonds and other minerals. (Mining Industry of South Africa). On the bank of Orange River, in 1867, a transparent stone was found. It turned out to be a diamond. Over time South Africa has expanded it’s economy on exporting minerals. South Africa is home to great wealth and fierce rivalries between the exporting and producing of minerals. Today South Africa is third in production in terms of value and is likely to stay that was in the future. (South Africa). It is the richest continent for diamond mining, accounting for roughly 49% of the world’s production. (Mining Industry of South Africa). The major productions are in the south with lesser concentrations in the west-central part of the continent. (Mining Industry of South Africa). The major producing countries are the Congo Republic, Botswana, South Africa, Angola, Namibia, Ghana, Central African Republic, Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Zimbabwe. Political turmoil in some countries has led to highly variable production and servere degradation of the environmental from uncontrolled mining. (South Africa). South Africa is the world’s third largest coal exporter, and most of the countries coal is used for power production. (Coal Mining in South Africa). Mining has long been integral to the development and advancement of South Africa’s economy and has contributed largely in making its economy the strongest on the continent. (Mining Industry of South Africa). Coal mining provides 6.1% of the country’s total merchandise exports. South Africa is the sixth largest holder of coal in the world, with 31 billion tons of recoverable coal reserves, equivalent to 11% of the world’s total coal reserves (Mining Industry of South Africa). Coal mining in South Africa is concentrated in large mines. (South Africa). South Africa is the largest producer of Manganese, Platinum, and Chrome. (South Africa). It is the second largest producer of Ilmenite, Palladium, Rutile, and Zirconium. (South Africa).

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South Africa’s expanding economy depends on the production and exporting of minerals. It’s diverse mineral producer’s has contributed to the country’s development. Still continueing to expand, the main reason for the growth was the discovery of gold and diamonds. The discovery brought in thousands of foreigners, triggering the exporting rates to expand to other country’s. South Africa’s rich economy will continue to advance in the future because it is one of the largest exporters and producers in the world. Regardless of the hazardous working conditions, South African miners continue to mine and expand the country. South Africa’s reserves are some of the world’s most valuable.

 

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