History and location

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 export markets.

We also supply a small portion of liquid metal to a local downstream Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment company, Isizinda Aluminium.

Smeltering Operations

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.

Alumina processed at Hillside is imported from South32’s Worsley Alumina operation in Australia.  Hillside’s capacity of 720 kilotonnes a year makes us the largest producer of primary aluminium in the southern hemisphere. Here we use advanced technology to help maximise our smelter productivity. We have a team of about 1,400 working at the smelter.
Hillside Aluminium

We're helping people learn that they can

We've teamed up with I Can! to launch a Learnership Academy in Richards Bay to give people with disabilities greater independence and social connection and help them get jobs.

See case study

Playing our part  

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.


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We're addressing modern slavery

We use responsible sourcing practices in our supply chain, and taking action against modern slavery.

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Turning pay packets into financial security

At our Hillside operation in South Africa we have provided financial education to 440 of our people.

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Get in touch with Hillside Aluminium

Calvin Mkhabela
Calvin Mkhabela

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, Corporate Affairs

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