Richards Bay

Richards Bay

Richards Bay is a city encompassing one of South Africa's largest harbours. It is situated on a 30 square kilometre lagoon of the Mhlatuze River, on the northern coast of KwaZulu-Natal.


The town began as a makeshift harbour that was set up by Commodore of the Cape, Sir Frederick Richards during the Boer War of 1879. In 1935 the Richards Bay Game Sanctuary was created to protect the ecology around the lagoon and later by 1943 it expanded into the Richards Bay Park. The town was laid-out on the shores of the lagoon in 1954 and proclaimed a town in 1969. In 1976 Richards Bay harbour was converted into a deep water harbour with railway and an oil/gas pipeline linking the port to Johannesburg.


The Richards Bay Coal Terminal is the largest coal export facility in the world with a planned capacity of 91 million tons per year by the first half of 2009. In 2007 annual throughput was 66.12 million tons.

Two aluminium smelters and a fertiliser plant have been erected at the harbour. Iron ore, rutile (titanium oxide) and zircon are mined from the sand dunes close to the lagoon by Richards Bay Minerals [ Richards Bay Minerals] . Local exports include coal, aluminium, titanium and other heavy minerals, granite, ferrochrome, paper pulp, woodchips and phosphoric acid.


Richards Bay is a popular kitesurfing destination thanks to consistent winds blowing from the North East.

ee also

*Richards Bay Airport


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Look at other dictionaries:

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