|Mining is a cornerstone of the South African economy and it is a sector that is constantly growing. Besides gold, coal and platinum which are mined/exploited through “traditional” mining methods, the mining sector is currently investigating the extraction of natural gas through hydraulic fracturing (fracking). Although hydraulic fracturing contains various socio-economic benefits, it is also criticized because of the negative impact it may have on the environment. A large part of the ecologically unique and sensitive Karoo region in South Africa, has been earmarked as an area where natural gas can be found and mined through the use of hydraulic fracturing. It is however envisaged that hydraulic fracturing can lead to extensive water, soil and air pollution, and the destruction of biodiversity in this sensitive area. In order to limit the environmental impacts of hydraulic fracturing to a minimum, it is crucial that law must and can regulate this mining process. The study attempts to describe the legal framework that can be used to regulate the environmental impacts of hydraulic fracturing and to evaluate the theoretical effectiveness of the framework. In South Africa hydraulic fracturing is a mining process that has not previously been implemented and therefore there has not been a need to critically evaluate the law governing this matter. This research will contribute to the development of knowledge concerning the role of law in the regulation of hydraulic fracturing, the strengths and possible weaknesses of the law and possible aspects needed to improve the legal framework.