Visit the Gold Fields Group website at www.goldfields.com
South Deep Gold Mine is a world-class bulk mechanised mining operation located in the Witwatersrand Basin, near Westonaria 50km south-west of Johannesburg, South Africa’s commercial capital. The mine has been built to extract one of the largest known gold deposits in the world and boasts a mineral reserve of 32,19 million ounces. This is equivalent to almost 80,470 gold bullion bars.
The current Life-of-Mine (LOM) is estimated to be 80 years (2101), so not only will South Deep be a valuable asset to the Gold Fields Group for decades to come, but it is likely to be the last gold mine in South Africa, with most other mines having run out of reserves by then.
While the mine has been in development and operation since the 1970s, there have been a number of challenges along the way. All the key required infrastructure is in place to ensure that South Deep operates as a safe, low-cost, bulk, mechanised and profitable gold mine and we are now ramping up our production to a steady state.
And while the orebody and infrastructure help to set South Deep apart from our peers, it is our people that are our key differentiator. We are the economic backbone for our employees who predominantly live in our host communities as well as our host communities. We employ almost 4,600 people directly, either as full-time employees or contractors. We value our partnership with organised labour and work closely with them in translating our purpose, vision and aspirations for South Deep into reality.
We know that our people shoulder huge responsibilities too: each employee on average plays an important role as breadwinner to between 5 and 10 people. Moreover, there are nine host communities, with a collective population of more than 100,000 people, situated in close proximity to our mine, all of which rely to some degree on our operation.
We fully recognise this unique socio-economic context and take the need to earn our social licence to operate very seriously. Not only is the safety and well-being of our employees and communities one of our core values at South Deep, but the intensive engagement of and consultation with all our stakeholders is a priority.
In addition to the Mining Charter’s Social and Labour Plan, we seek to address the wellbeing of our communities in terms of education, skills development, poverty-alleviation and empowerment, through two independently governed trusts – the South Deep Community Trust and the South Deep Education Trust.