South Africa’s gold reserves, renowned for their wealth of deposits, have remained steady at 125.35 tons during the second quarter of 2022. The majority of these precious minerals are produced in the Witwatersrand Basin, which holds the esteemed title of having the world’s richest gold reserve.

Since the late 19th century when goldfields were discovered, the Witwatersrand Basin has yielded over 2 billion ounces of gold, making it responsible for 40 to 50 percent of the total gold extracted globally. Additional deposits were also discovered in the eastern Transvaal and Barberton during the 1880s.

The South African gold industry contributes approximately 4.2% of global gold production, while mining alone contributed $23.9 billion to the economy in 2019. Below, let’s explore the top gold mines in South Africa.

South Deep Gold Mine

The South Deep gold mine currently holds the world record for gold reserves. With a depth of 2,998 meters below the surface, South Deep is the seventh deepest mine in the world, located 45 km southwest of Johannesburg in the Witwatersrand Basin.

As of December 2018, South Deep had 32.8Moz of managed mineral reserves. Until 2000, it was known as Western Areas Gold Mine, and it was in 1961 that mining operations were started at the site. In 2006, Goldfields assumed ownership and operation of South Deep. Two shaft systems operate the underground gold mine: the South Shaft and the Twin Shaft.

Gold production at South Deep decreased to 157,100oz in 2018 from 281,300oz in 2017. But, South Deep’s mine life will be extended to 2092.

Barberton Mines

Did you know Barberton were the first gold mines in South Africa, where they discovered gold deposit and constructed the first gold mine? The Barberton gold deposit is known for its nugget-like properties and is still a valuable center of high-quality gold mining. 

According to Pan African Resources forecasts, gold production at Barberton will be approximately 100,000oz per year after its mining rights at Barberton were renewed for 30 years by the Department of Mineral Resources (DMRE).

Impala Mine

The Impala Platinum gold mine is located in South Africa, about 25km northwest of Rustenburg and 140km west of Pretoria, in the North-West province. It is a massive complex spanning approximately 250 square kilometers and comprises ten shafts.

The mine primarily targets the Merensky Reef and UG2 Reef on Bushveld Igneous Complex. According to a June 2019 estimate, the mine’s proved and probable reserves in the Merensky and UG2 ore bodies were 51.4 Mt and 44.0 Mt, respectively.

The mine holds a significant reserve of platinum, with an estimated 7 million ounces (Moz) of platinum reserves.

Doornkop Mine

Harmony Gold’s operations in South Africa include the mature single-shaft Doornkop gold mine, located 30km west of Johannesburg, with a depth of 2,219m. The mine is situated on the south reef orebody of the Witwatersrand Basin in the northwestern part of the country. Its remaining life is estimated to be 14 years.    

Kloof Mine

Within the Witwatersrand Basin, Kloof Mine is about 60 km southwest of Johannesburg. Gold Fields owns the Kloof gold mine in its entirety, and it is divided into three sections: 

2002 was when all of their operations were consolidated into one division. In 2020, Kloof was estimated to have 4.7MnOz of surface and underground gold reserves and 33MnOz of mineral resources.

Blyvoor Gold Mine

The Blyvoor gold mine was established in 1937, making it the first mine in the West Wits line. This underground mine is located in the northwest section of the Witwatersrand Basin and is situated 70 km southwest of Johannesburg. Gold is found in two horizons at Blyvoor Gold Mine – the Carbon Leader Reed and Main Reef, with formation thicknesses between 5 and 20 cm.

Thanks to its widespread reserves, the mine is expected to remain operational until 2030. DRDGOLD SA operates the Blyvoor mine, which contains estimated gold reserves of 5.32 million ounces.

Tshepong Mine

Harmony Gold Mining owns the Tshepong Mine in the Free State. As of 2020, the mine produced approximately 234.475 thousand ounces of gold. There is a possibility that the mine will be in operation until the year 2040.

Driefontein Mine

Since 1952, the East Driefontein gold mine, located 60km southwest of Johannesburg, has recovered over 102.5MnOz of gold. The mine is in the Witwatersrand Basin and has gold mineral reserves totaling 2.5 million ounces. Besides, the Driefontein Mine has one of the largest uranium reserves in the nation. 

Gold mineralization occurs between 1,000 and 4,000 meters deep. CLR and VCR orebodies host most of the resource base, with Middelvlei Reef contributing a minor portion.

Get the Right Equipment for Mining

It’s crucial not to overlook the hazards of working in South African gold mines, even with impressive statistics. The truth is that mining can still be a risky business. 

Nsimbi Equipment Traders is driven by a genuine love of the industry and is dedicated to offering top-quality equipment to the African market: Products are carefully selected to provide safety, cost-effectiveness, and efficiency to workers in the mining sector.