Out of the world’s 10 largest gold mines, 2 derive from South Africa.
South Africa is home to the majority of the deepest mines in the world, also hosts two of the top 10 largest gold mines:
Largest Gold Mines 1 | South Deep (1961)
South Deep gold mine is located 45km south-west of Johannesburg in the Witwatersrand Basin, and is the second largest gold mine in the world. The managed mineral reserve at South Deep as of December 2012 stood at 39.1Moz. South Deep is also the seventh deepest mine in the world with a mine depth up to 2,995m below the surface.
South Deep was known by the name Western Areas Gold Mine until 2000. Goldfields became the owner and operator of the South Deep gold mine in 2006. The underground gold mine is operated through two shaft systems, known as the South Shaft complex and the Twin Shaft complex.
South Deep produced 270,000oz of gold in 2012. The mine is undergoing a major development project to increase its yearly production. The mine life of South deep is expected to be extended up to 2092. Barrick Gold has submitted a compliance plan to build a water management system by the end of 2014, after which the construction works on the Chilean side will be initiated.
The production from Pascua-Lama is expected to start only after 2014. The mine is expected to produce up to 850,000oz of gold per annum in the first full five years of operation. The expected mine life of Pascua-Lama is 25 years. Barrick Gold had invested $5.4bn on the project as of June 2013.
Largest Gold Mines 1 | Mponeng
Mponeng gold mine is located near the town of Carletonville, South Africa and ranks as the tenth largest gold mine globally. The contained gold reserve of Mponeng was estimated to be 13.81Moz (42.52Mt grading 10.10g/t gold) just a few short years ago. Mponeng is owned and operated by AngloGold Ashanti. The underground gold mine is also currently the deepest mine in the world with a depth of more than four kilometres below the surface.
The Mponeng gold mine produced 405,000oz of gold in 2012. The mine uses a sequential grid mining method. The gold plant complex and the shafts at Mponeng were commissioned in 1986. Muruntau gold mine in Uzbekistan, elsewhere reported as the one of the biggest gold mines, has not been included in the list as its remaining reserves are not disclosed.