Richard's Bay is a port town in South Africa's KwaZulu-Natal province (created in 1994). The port is located on a 30 km2 (12 ml2) lagoon of Mhlatuze River, making it one of country's biggest harbours. The town has population around 60,000.
Richard's Bay Coal Terminal is currently ranked world's largest coal export facility with planned annual capacity around 91 million tons. Two aluminum smelters (Bayside and Hillside) are operated by BHP Billiton Ltd (subsidiary of BHP Group / UK-Australian company headquartered in Melbourne). The fertilizer plant (operated by Foskor) was also built at the harbour. Rutile (titanium oxide), zircon and iron ores are mined (by Richard's Bay Minerals) from the sand dunes near the lagoon.
Richards Bay and Rustenberg are currently the fastest-developing cities in South However, like most South African territories, this area is infected by poverty and unemployment (estimated at 40%) with many of the locals living below the poverty line.
The tourism industry is another major contributor to town's economy, as Richards Bay is the gateway to Zululand and best-known for its large game parks and diverse wildlife. Richard's Bay Industrial Development Zone (RBIDZ) is a fully serviced industrial park which comprises heavy, medium and light production industries linked to Port Richard's Bay.
Port Richards Bay's cargo and cruise shipping operations are managed by TNPA (Transnet National Ports Authority). This is Africa's largest port authority company that manages 7 large seaports in South Africa - Richards Bay, Durban, Cape Town, East London, Mossel Bay, Port Elizabeth, and Saldanha.
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