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Geologists in South Africa’s Mining Sector: What Companies and Candidates Need to Know

Updated: Nov 29, 2021

South Africa is an attractive prospect for local and international mining companies alike, with major mineral exploration potential. However, for mineral exploration to accelerate in the country, there is a need for improved geological knowledge – and therefore for geoscientists such as geologists who can solve this problem. Geologists play an essential part in mineral exploration and mining projects, helping to identify target areas for exploration and mining, overseeing the execution of drilling, and helping to ensure mining is carried out safely on appropriate and safe sites.

As things stand, geologists are listed as one of the scarce skills in South Africa, and there is a high demand for qualified geologists to join various industries, including the mining sector. Geologists will therefore find many opportunities in this field, however, mining companies, including those expanding into South Africa and beginning mineral exploration there, are struggling to find skilled individuals for positions.

For this reason, local South Africans, diaspora, and internationals should consider studying Geology and entering the mining sector with geological expertise. Other advantages of becoming a mining geologist include both a high salary, with the average salary of a mining geologist with some experience being more than R1.5 million a year, and the fact that although the job market for mining geologists fluctuates in relation to the rise and fall of the commodities markets, there will always be some demand for these professionals and opportunities going into the future.

Job titles of mining geologists include Exploration Geologist, Geological and Mining Engineer, Petroleum Geologist, and Manufacturing Geologist.

If you are considering a career in geology within the mining industry, you will need a degree. Most mining geologists have qualifications that go as far as a bachelor’s degree, while some hold honours and master’s degrees. Listed below are the best geologist degree programmes in South Africa.

Best Geology and Related Degree Programmes in South Africa

· Engineering and Environmental Geology Hydrogeology (B.Sc. Hons) at University of Pretoria

· Engineering and Environmental Geology Engineering (B.Sc. Hons) at University of Pretoria

· Geospatial Science (B.Sc.) at University of the Witswatersrand

· Geomatics (B.Eng.) at University of Cape Town

· Applied Geology (B.Sc.) at University of the Western Cape

· Geology ( Hons) at University of Pretoria

· Engineering Technology in Civil Engineering (B.Eng.) at University of Cape Town

· Geology (B.Sc. Hons) at University of Johannesburg

Mining geologists do not just need a degree to successfully enter the profession, however; certain skills are viewed as requirements by mining companies looking for geologists. Zippia, an international career information website, lists the following as skills companies most look for:

Most desirable skills for mining geologists:

· Physical stamina

· Strong communication skills

· Outdoor skills

· Data collection

· Drill core

· Autocad

There are many roles that individuals with geological qualifications may end up in, and tasks and hours can be highly varied. If you are searching for a job as a Mining Geologist in South Africa or other African countries, visit CA Mining’s Africa Jobs Board for Geologists to find and apply for any of the positions listed, or contact CA Mining’s recruitment consultants at for a discussion about your career or recruitment needs for your next project.

For assistance with managing your mine's workforce and hiring in South Africa and wider Africa, see CA Global HR's Employer of Record (EOR), South Africa PEO, or Human Resources Services and Contractor Payroll pages. Alternatively, contact our EOR and PEO experts at for a discussion.

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