By Ian MacOlive
South Africa has often been referred to as a treasure trove. This is mainly because of its rich and numerous deposits of both precious and non-precious metals. Statistics show that the country is endowed with about 90% of all platinum, 80% of manganese, 73% of chrome, and 41% of all the gold in the world, among other metals. In addition, the casting industry is highly developed and contributes to about a third of manufacturing in the country. In fact, the entire mining industry is South Africarsquo;s leading employer.
Because of these supplies, it makes sense that South Africa is a leading exporter of many precious metals and alloy castings. The country is actually the world’s second largest producer of gold and was first in the world until China recent usurped South Africa. The statistics say that South Africa had been the largest producer of gold for over one hundred years, which shows just how much gold is actually found in the country. This slight decrease has not affected the economy as significantly as many would think, however, as the precious metals industry has become much more diversified.
Another metal that has become a very large export in South Africa is steel. Although it is only the 20th largest producer of steel in the world, it is the largest producer on the African continent. Things like railway tracks, seamless bars, blooms, slabs, forgings, and reinforcing bars are all made from this steel, which has made it a very important commodity. The country’s largest company in this industry is the Iron and Steel Corporation, which is a state-owned entity with plants in Pretoria, Gauteng, and KwaZulu-Natal. The company also owns mines all over the country, which helps to streamline this production. Other companies like Scaw Metals, Cape Gate, Highveld Steel and Vanadium, and Cisco are also major players in this industry and produce about 1% of the world’s steel.
Iron is the other dominant metal produced in South Africa in the heavy metal industry. Both iron and steel provide material for the transport and engineering industries, structural products, as well as machinery. The casting of these metals began in 1934 with ISCOR.
As far as non-ferrous metals go, aluminum is the most exported item in South Africa. The country is the 8th largest producer of this metal, even though it does not feature a deposit that can be mined commercially. This means that all of the aluminum products that are made in South Africa are made from imported aluminum and then exported later on. The largest companies in this industry and Billiton and Hulett Aluminum and these companies add a great deal to the company’s economy.
Other non-ferrous metals produced in South Africa include brass, copper, tin, and zinc, all of which are alloy castings, and lead. Production quantities of these metals are small in comparison to aluminium, but still vital to the country in terms of export and foreign exchange earnings.
The production of some castings, such as gold, copper, brass, and bronze has actually decreased in recent years, but that does not means that the industry is in trouble. In fact, this industry has made a new commitment to using updating mining and reclamation technologies, which will help the country to remain competitive. Some companies have actually had to merge in order to stay ahead of the competition and certain measures have also been taken by the government to decrease the amount of external competition.
Despite the problems, the castings industry will surely remain strong in South Africa well into the future and will be a force that drives the country’s economy.
If you want to source castings in South Africa, AA Alloys is a Foundry and Castings Company situated in Benoni, South Africa. To get more information on non-ferrous metal castings, go to Castings Company
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MacOlive, Ian "South Africa – Major Players In The Castings Industry." South Africa – Major Players In The Castings Industry. 22 Jun. 2010. uberarticles.com. 22 Nov 2014 <http://uberarticles.com/business/south-africa-major-players-in-the-castings-industry/>.
APA Style Citation:
MacOlive, I (2010, June 22). South Africa – Major Players In The Castings Industry. Retrieved November 22, 2014, from http://uberarticles.com/business/south-africa-major-players-in-the-castings-industry/
Chicago Style Citation:
MacOlive, Ian "South Africa – Major Players In The Castings Industry" uberarticles.com. http://uberarticles.com/business/south-africa-major-players-in-the-castings-industry/
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