Kumba Iron Ore Mine… Sishen, South Africa.

Kumba Iron Ore is an iron ore mining company in South Africa. It is the fourth largest iron ore producer in the world and the largest in Africa. A subsidiary of Anglo American corporation.

The entrance from the main road is beautifully decorated….

Len Kathu 10-07-2012 040

Len Kathu 10-07-2012 045











The bulk of Kumba’s iron ore production comes from Sishen mine, located in South Africa’s Northern Cape Province near the mining town of Kathu. Opened in 1947, Sishen mine is Kumba’s flagship operation and one of the largest open-pit mines in the world. It operates 24/7 and in 2011 produced 38,9 million tonnes of iron ore.

Len Kathu 10-07-2012 046

Len Kathu 10-07-2012 054











Sishen mine has enough resources to sustain a 21-year production. Most of Sishen mine’s iron ore’s exported. All mining’s done by open-cast methods, with ore transported to the beneficiation plant where it’s crushed, screened and beneficiated. Kumba is the only haematite ore producer in the world to fully beneficiate its product, made possible through dense medium separation and jig technology. The Jig Plant at Sishen mine is the largest of its type in the world.


Len Kathu 10-07-2012 048











A few facts about the mine…

Sishen mine is one of the world’s seven largest open-pit mines, and is the site of several mining world records:

  • the largest single blasting operation took place here, in which 7,2 million tonnes of rock broken in a single blast in 1981.

  • Sishen mine extracts water from the mine, of which more than half’s used for mining operations and the daily requirements of the town that houses employees. The balance, piped to other mines and towns in the area.

  • Total tonnage produced in 2011: 38,9Mt of final product.

  • Total investment in social and community projects in 2011: R73,6 million.

The equipment used on the mine is some of the biggest in the world… and these photos give you an idea of how big…

Len Kathu 10-07-2012 056