Sishen iron ore mine

Sishen iron ore mine

Sishen iron ore mine in the Kalahari

Sishen iron ore mine is a mine near the town Kathu in the Northern Cape province in South Africa. The iron ore mine opened in the 1950th and Kathu developed in parallel. The Sishen iron ore mine is one of the biggest iron ore mines in the world. Thatswhy Kathu called also as Africa’s iron ore capital.

The iron ore mined in Sishen has a unique characteristic. The thing is, that this iron ore is magnetic. Most iron ore mined in the world is nonmagnetic. However, the red-brown mineral gives the landscape around Kathu the typical rusty colour. If the mineral is crushed it has a shiny and twinkle surface.

Kathu has an airfield. Just 10 km out of the town. An airline provides an air link to Johannesburg. Also important to mention is the Sishen golf course. One of the top golf course in South Africa. Kathu’s camel thorn tree forest is part of the golf course indeed.

Iron ore is Kathu’s mineral treasure, the camel thorn tree forest is the ecological treasure.

The iron ore loaded by huge excavators on heavy dump trucks. The wheels of the dump trucks have a diameter of around four metres. The trucks can easily carry more than 200 tonnes of iron ore. The iron ore proceeds further with heavy equipment. This equipment placed all around the mine indeed. All the conveyor belts, transfer towers and crusher are visible from far.

Finally, the iron ore loaded on trains and send to the Atlantic coast for shipping worldwide. The electrified connection between Kathu and the west coast is also known as the Sishen–Saldanha railway line. On this line, up to eight kilometres long trains bringing the iron ore to South African’s west coast. These are the longest trains in the world.

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