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A photo of workers at hillside wearing safety glasses and hard hats

Hillside Aluminium

Hillside Aluminium is the largest aluminium smelter in the southern hemisphere, producing high-quality, primary aluminium for the domestic and export markets.

Hillside Aluminium

Hillside Aluminium
9 West Central, Arterial 
Richards Bay, 3900
South Africa
Phone: +27 (0) 35 908 8111

Key statistics

719 kt

FY23 aluminium production


South32 share


FY23 investment in local communities

Our operations

For more than 20 years we have played a key part in South Africa’s aluminium industry.

Our Hillside Aluminium smelter in Richards Bay, in the province of KwaZulu-Natal about 180 kilometres north of Durban, produces high-quality, primary aluminium for the domestic and export markets.

To support the development of the downstream aluminium industry in South Africa, a portion of liquid metal is supplied to Hulamin and other local companies that sell products in the domestic and export markets.

Aluminium is made by crushing and refining bauxite - an aluminium ore - into a white alumina powder then smelting the white alumina powder into aluminium metal.

The smelter uses alumina predominantly imported from Worsley Alumina in Australia to produce high-quality, primary aluminium. Hillside's capacity makes it the largest producer of primary aluminium in the southern hemisphere.

Partnering with communities

Hillside Aluminium supports victims of gender-based violence

Partnering with communities

We have seen an incredible amount of change in South Africa since we started operating here and we’ve done our best to bring about positive change as well.

We are working hard to make a meaningful contribution to the social and economic development of the country and we are committed to South Africa’s National Transformation Agenda.

We are doing this by:

  • Boosting economic empowerment with broad-based equity ownership structures in our operations
  • Advocating for equal representation in the workplace by upskilling historically disadvantaged workforces
  • Creating opportunities for the growth of black enterprises
  • Recruiting from within our local communities
  • Improving housing and living conditions for our team members
  • Increasing local engagement through sustainable community development
  • Making sure our plans are aligned with our values and the South African Mining Charter

We are working with the Kwa-Zulu Natal community to improve the wellbeing of local people.

  • Calvin Mkhabela

    Vice President Operations

    Calvin has been working at our operations for over 10 years.
    He has held various leadership roles at Aluminium South Africa and Wessels Manganese Mine across maintenance, engineering and process governance and improvement. Prior to his current role, Calvin held maintenance and engineering positions in Rio Tinto, Coca-Cola Sabco and Tongaat Hulett before joining South32 in 2007.


Craig Ullbricht, External Affairs

Phone: +27 (0) 35 908 8111