SA mineral wealth close to R30 trillion

15 November 2012 - 16:07 By Sapa
Image: Gallo Images/Thinkstock

South Africa's most valuable minerals are currently estimated to be worth around R29.6 trillion, Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu said on Thursday.

Replying in writing to a parliamentary question, Shabangu said the estimate was based on the country's 15 major minerals.

Platinum remains at the top of the list, with the known mineral reserves estimated to be worth nearly R13.3 trillion. The value of coal reserves stands at R6.6 trillion, with palladium worth almost R3.3 trillion, and gold at R2.8 trillion.

The unmined wealth of titanium is valued at R1.6 trillion.

An estimation of other mineral reserves is:

-- copper R680.9 billion;

-- nickel R478.5 bn;

-- zircon R302.8 bn;

-- zinc R209.8 bn;

-- vermiculite R98.3 bn;

-- vanadium pentoxide R75.6 bn;

-- uranium R54.6 bn;

-- manganese R6.3 bn;

-- lead R4.7 bn; and

-- antimony R2.2 bn.

South Africa has the world's fifth-largest mining sector.

Earlier estimates by US financial institution Citibank calculated South Africa's total mineral wealth to be around US2.5 trillion, or nearly R22.3 trillion.