Given its unique economic and social circumstances, South Africa is in desperate need of economic development. The main impetus for growth will have to come from the mining and industrial sectors, which will have to play a key role in the future South African economy. The activities of these sectors markedly influence the quality and quantity of natural resources in the country. Sustainable development should be the ultimate goal of any development strategy. The question is how businesses should organise themselves to achieve the goal of sustainable development, with cleaner and ecologically more efficient production. This study first analyses the unique features of resource economics in South Africa. It then discusses the integration of sustainable development within an excavatory and production environment. Finally an appropriate business management philosophy will be outlined.