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The Opencast Mine Viewpoint is situated in Phalaborwa in the Limpopo Province, South Africa.

Just south of Phalaborwa is one of the largest copper mines in the world. It is the widest manmade opencast mine in Africa, almost 2 km wide and 450 meters deep, and can be seen from space. When flying into Phalaborwa passengers will have a wonderful view of the opencast mine. If not flying into town, there is an incredible viewpoint from which visitors can view the “Big Hole” as well as an awesome view of Limpopo’s landscape and the Kruger National Park. To find the viewpoint, travel along Koper Street to the Mine entrance, from here directions to the viewpoint are signposted.

Opencast mining began here in 1964 and ceased in 2002. It has been replaced by a large-scale underground operation that will extend the mines lifespan considerably.

Foskor’s Mine Museum, is also well worth a visit as it displays exhibitions providing insight into the history of mining and the cultures of the area. Visitors can also enquire about tours of the mine that take place every Friday at 9am, booking is essential.

Things to do and see

Admission

No admission fee is charged.

Climate

Phalaborwa experiences rainfall mainly in the summer months with the highest occurring between November and February.

Summer months, October to March will experience average temperatures of between 18˚C to 31˚C. 

Winter months, May to August, will bring temperatures down to between 8˚C and 24˚C.

Transport

There are daily flights from Johannesburg into the Hendrik van Eck Airport in Phalaborwa. Car rental companies are available for easy access to the surrounding areas. Road trips from Johannesburg via the N12 and N4 will take approximately five and a half hours. 

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