Open pit mining – also called open cut mining or open cast mining – is a surface mining technique used to extract rocks and minerals.
South Africa is home to some of the biggest open pit mines in the world. Let’s have a look at a few of the Open pit mines in South-Africa
Often referred to as “The Big Hole”, where the world’s first hard-rock diamond deposits were found. 215 metres deep, the mine is one of the largest hand-excavated holes in the world
Palabora Open pit Mine
800-metre deep, in the Limpopo Province and in operation since 1956. Palabora Mine is the only producer of refined copper in South Africa today
Venetia Diamond Mine
Opened in 1992, located in the Venetia Nature Reserve, the mine is one of De Beers’ diamond-mines and is the largest producer of diamonds in South Africa. It has been excavated to a depth of 450 metres
Jagersfontein Open pit Mine
Located in one of the oldest diamond mining towns in the world. The hand-dug section of the mine is estimated at a depth of 275 metres, making it the deepest hand-excavated hole in the world.
Mogalakwena Open pit Mine
Mogalakwena is the largest platinum mine in South Africa. Established in 1993 consisting of five open pits, with the depths of the pits ranging from 45 metres to 245 metres
Shishen Open pit Mine
A 400-metre deep iron mine, located 30 kilometres from Kathu in the Northern Cape. The mine has been in operation since 1953. Today, Sishen has one of the largest iron ore reserves in the world.
Grootegeluk Open pit Mine
This Mine includes the largest beneficiation facility in the world, with six plants upgrading roughly 8 000 tonnes of coal per hour. The pit includes 13 benches and has a maximum depth of 120 metres
Cullinan Diamond Mine
Also known as the Premier Mine, Cullinan Diamond Mine was first established in 1902. It is located in one of the largest kimberlite pipes in the region. It has a surface area of 39 hectares and a depth of 190 metres.
Finsch Diamond Mine
Situated west of Kimberley, the deposit was first mined as an open pit(underground mine was subsequently developed below the pit) The open pit mine spans 17.9 hectares and has a depth of about 100 metres.
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