The objective of the research was to explore the reasons why some coal mining companies in South Africa fail to get the benefits of outsourcing. The research aimed to achieve this by first establishing the critical success factors for outsourcing in coal mining and then discovering how well coal mines implement these factors.Managers from 55 coal mines were requested to rank on a Likert scale the importance of and their performance on these critical factors. The importance and performance on these factors were ranked based on the means and standard deviations of their responses. Findings include a list of the most critical success factors for outsourcing in coal mining. It was also discovered that the amount of effort going into these factors was disproportional to the level of importance of the factors. Only in 25% of the respondents was outsourcing a success. A framework was recommended to be used by coal mines to improve their outsourcing.