Ngwenya Mine

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The Ngwenya Mine is located on Bomvu Ridge, northwest of Mbabane and near the northwestern border of Eswatini (Swaziland). This mine is considered to be the world's oldest. The haematite ore deposit was used in the Middle Stone Age to extract red ochre, while in later times the deposit was mined for iron smelting and iron ore export.

Several stone age artefacts have been found in the mine during archaeological works in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Their age was established with radiocarbon dating as older than 20,000 years. Later, radiocarbon dating yielded the age of the oldest mining activities as 41,000 to 43,000 years. This would make Ngwenya the oldest known mine. The site was known to Early Man for its deposits of red and specular haematite, used in cosmetics and rituals.