South Africa

Richards Bay Minerals (RBM) Mine

Click for more information

Categories

Overview

Mine TypeOpen Pit
StatusActive
Commodities
  • Titanium
  • Zircon
  • Rutile
Mining Method
  • Truck & Shovel / Loader
  • Dredging
  • Dry mining
Production Start... Lock
Mine Life... Lock
SnapshotRichards Bay Minerals (RBM) manages and operates several dredges, dry mining units, heavy mineral concentrators, and mineral separation plant. RBM has also a smelter with furnaces to produce titania slag, pig iron in addition to rutile and zircon.

The mineral separation plant is located approximately 35km from the mining plants.

Rio Tinto entered 2024 with three out of four online furnaces at Richards Bay Minerals.

Voltalia began Phase 1 construction of a 130MW solar farm for Richards Bay Minerals.

Owners

SourceSource
CompanyInterestOwnership
BEE 24 % Indirect
Rio Tinto plc 74 % Indirect
Richards Bay Minerals (RBM) is a joint venture between Rio Tinto (74%) and Blue Horizon – a black empowerment consortium of investors (24%) and Host Communities Mbonambi, Sokhulu, Mkhwanazi, and Dube – which own 24%. The remaining shares (2%) are held in RBM employee trust.

Contractors

Lock

- subscription is required.

Deposit type

  • Sediment-hosted
  • Mineral sands

Summary:

The Richards Bay Minerals (RBM) heavy mineral-rich sands coastal dune deposits (Tisand, Zulti North) extend parallel to the beach. Mining was started within the Tisand lease just north of Richards Bay.

RBM is situated approximately 200 km north of Durban and 20 km northeast of Richards Bay on the east coast of South Africa. The two main ore bodies are known as the Zulti North and Zulti South leases as well as the depleted Tisand lease, which is the repository for the Minerals Separation Plant’s stockpiled tailings resource.

Zulti South
The Zulti South HMS deposit lies just to the southwest of the current Zulti North operation.

The Zulti South heavy mineral sands deposit represents an unconsolidated beach placer deposit found within a belt of undulating aeolian dunes aligned roughly parallel to the coast, of Pliocene – Pleistocene and Holocene age. At present only the Holocene dunes are mined by RBM. Material mined by RBM is from the Sibayi (<10 ka) and KwaMbonambi (57 to 6 ka) Formations, which are the youngest units of the Maputaland Group, a thin veneer set on the Zululand Coastal Plain, formed in response to sea- level changes and uplift during the Neogene (25-2 Ma) and Quaternary (2 Ma to present) periods.

The Zulti South deposit is approx. 20 km in extent along the strike and varies in width from 0.5 to 3 km. Vertical extent varies from 1 to 80 m plus.

Zulti North
The deposit covers a coast-parallel dune belt some 20 km long and about 2 km wide. The height of the dune is about 60 – 110 m, with increasing altitude northwards.

Type of mineralisation: Coastal mineralised sands.

Quaternary heavy mineral-bearing aeolian dunes of the upper portions of the Maputaland Group (Sibayi and Kwambonambi Formations) resting on a Pleistocene beach are mined. Clay-enriched, weathered Kosi Bay Formation dune sands and the Port Durnford Formation estuarine deposits form the underlying beds. KZN Sands, located south of the Mhlatuze River, mined the clay-enriched, rubified weathering profile which formed within the older Umkwelane Formation dune ridge.

According to Wipplinger (1998) the dune sand contains about 10 % heavy minerals, on average consisting of 6.08 % ilmenite, 0.28 % rutile and 0.83 % zircon. The heavy mineral assemblage also comprises monazite and magnetite. The grade of the ilmenite is too low (49.7 % TiO2 on average) to be marketable in its existing form and thus has to be upgraded by a smelting process to produce an 85 % TiO2 slag.

Reserves

Lock

- subscription is required.

Mining Methods

Lock

- subscription is required.

Comminution

Crushers and Mills

Milling equipment has not been reported.

Processing

Lock

- subscription is required.

Production

CommodityProductUnits20232022202120202019201820172016
Titanium dioxide Slag kt  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe5631,116 *1,315 *1,048 *
Zircon Mineral in concentrate t 141,645
Rutile Mineral in concentrate t 46,176
Iron Pig t 222,989

Operational metrics

Metrics202320222021202020192018201720162015
Annual production capacity  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe1,050,000 t of titanium dioxide slag1,050,000 t of titanium dioxide slag1,050,000 t of titanium dioxide slag1,050,000 t of titanium dioxide slag1,050,000 t of titanium dioxide slag
Annual production capacity  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe565,000 t of iron pig565,000 t of iron pig565,000 t of iron pig565,000 t of iron pig565,000 t of iron pig

Production Costs

Commodity production costs have not been reported.

Financials

Units202320222021
Book Value M USD  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe

Heavy Mobile Equipment

Lock

- subscription is required.

Personnel

Mine Management

Job TitleNameProfileRef. Date
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required May 22, 2024
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required May 22, 2024
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required May 22, 2024
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required May 22, 2024
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required May 22, 2024
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required May 22, 2024
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required May 22, 2024
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required May 22, 2024
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required May 22, 2024

EmployeesContractorsTotal WorkforceYear
...... Subscription required ...... Subscription required ...... Subscription required 2022
...... Subscription required ...... Subscription required ...... Subscription required 2021
...... Subscription required ...... Subscription required ...... Subscription required 2019
...... Subscription required 2015

Lock

- subscription is required.