South Africa - Country Commercial Guide
Mining Equipment

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2020-10-01

Overview             

 

2018

 

2019

(estimated)

2020

(projected)

2021

(projected)

Total Market Size

190,000

195,000

50,000

750,000

Total Local Production

64,000

66,000

30,000

45,000

Total Exports

22,000

22,000

15,000

19,000

Total Imports

130,000

135,000

78,000

 

Imports from the U.S.

40,000

41,000

10,000

20,000

Exchange Rate: 1 $

14.14
 

14.58

 

 

Unit: $thousand

Data Sources:  Above figures are unofficial estimates obtained from industry sources.

Note:           Figures include exploration and extraction equipment, but exclude

                    beneficiation and bulk transportation equipment.

The U.S. construction equipment sector exports to South Africa from 2011 to 2015 were over 600% higher than the next largest African market, Egypt (this sector includes construction, earthmoving and mining equipment). Overall, regional sector Africa growth since 2013 was relatively flat; regional export performance, however, mirrored overall global developments and have declined sharply since 2015.

The challenges in the mining industry, such as high input costs, environmental, health and safety regulations, a fluctuating exchange rate, and logistic inefficiencies continued to be aggravated by low commodity prices. In 2018/19 this resulted in precipitously declining employment, growth and business confidence in the mining sector. However, some mining houses have been able to improve credit ratings. The general malaise in the mining sector has been aggravated by uncertainty regarding Government intentions on mine nationalization, and investors remain cautious; half of all mining operations are said to be loss-making. The downturn in the exports of manganese, iron ore and the platinum sector do not bode well for new capital expenditure projects in this niche. Nonetheless, South Africa is one of the premier ores and mineral sources in the world, and a net exporter of mining technologies.  It is a major supplier of Platinum Group Metals (PGM), coal, iron, manganese, chrome and nickel. It is also has Rare Earth Element (REE) deposits and related speciality refining infrastructure.

Sub-Sector Best Prospects                                                     

The South African mining industry is well-developed and sophisticated. Many local equipment and service providers as well as organized events exist to facilitate the distribution of goods or services into the African continent. South Africa remains an important stepping stone to develop that area. U.S. goods and services in the following fields are well represented in South Africa:

  • Software
  • Furnaces
  • Drill Rigs
  • Automated Controls
  • Mining Processing
  • GIS Mapping
  • Communications Systems
  • Materials Extraction and Handling Technology

Opportunities                                                                  

Mining and related projects have traditionally been responsible for significant infrastructure development. For example, 2,200 miles of railway line, three new ports and a large amount of bulk handling infrastructure at other ports remain in planning stages of both the South African Government and mining consortia. Increasing the efficiency of material handling systems is high on the agenda of exporters of ores and minerals.

Recent mining infrastructure plans include:

  • Saldanha Bay iron and steel ore bulk export hub.
  • Coega Port infrastructure development focused on the creation of a dedicated rail line for the export of manganese from the Northern Cape and the creation of a chorine plant.
  • Further enhanced bulk material handling systems at the port of Richards Bay.

Web Resources                                                              

Mining Indaba 2021

Africa Mining Investment Conference and Exhibition

Date:                    February 1-4, 2021

Venue:               CTICC, Cape Town

Website:           www.miningindaba.com

 

Electra Mining Africa 2022

Mining, Industrial & Construction, Transport Exhibition and Conference

Date: 5-9, September 2022

Venue:         MTN Expo Centre, Nasrec, Johannesburg

Website:    http://www.electramining.co.za

 

Mining Weekly Publication

Website:  http://www.miningweekly.co.za

 

Minerals Council South Africa

Website:  www.mineralscouncil.org.za/

 

Council for Geoscience

Website:  http://www.geoscience.org.za

 

Mintek

Website:  http://www.mintek.co.za

 

For more information, contact the U.S. Commercial Service in Johannesburg, South Africa, via e-mail at:

Johan.vanRensburg@trade.gov; Phone: +27 11 290 3208; Fax: +27 11 884 0253, or visit our Website:  http://export.gov/southafrica/index.asp.