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The mining industry has historically been a key driver of the South African economy. Economic activity in modern-day Soth Africa has been centered on mining activities, their ancillary services and supplies. The country's stock exchange in Johannesburg was established in 1887, a decade after the first diamonds were discovered on the banks of the Orange River, and almost simultaneously with the gold rush on the world-famous Witwatersrand. Today, the South African mining sector employs approximately 490,000 workers (5% of the South African workforce) and contributes to roughly 8% of the country's GDP.

Unsurprisingly, the country's mineral wealth is a valuable source of foreign direct investment. In spite of prevailing regulatory uncertainty the mining industry remains a key focus point of the government and the private sector, and continued efforts are being made to engage foreign investors to stimulate further growth.

Topics covered in this publication:

  • Overview of mining industry in South Africa
  • Legal and regulatory structure
  • Mining rights and title
  • Duties, royalties and taxes
  • Business structures
  • Financing
  • Restrictions
  • Environment
  • Health and safety, and labour issues
  • Social and community issues
  • Anti-bribery and corruption issues
  • Foreign investment
  • International treaties



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Reproduced with permission from Law Business Research Ltd. This article was first published in Getting the Deal Through – Mining 2018 (Published: July 2018). For further information please visit

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