History

1950
Discovery of payable Ventersdorp Contract Reef and Upper Elsburg conglomerates near Westonaria
1965
Establishment of Elsburg Gold Mining Company
1975
Elsburg consolidated into Western Areas Gold Mining
1980
Recognition that orebody had potential for mechanised mining
1990
South Deep Exploration formed to raise funds for continued exploration
1995
Western Areas Gold Mining and South Deep Exploration Company merged. Shaft sinking commenced
1999
Placer Dome/Western Areas joint venture formed to develop South Deep
2000
Project renamed South Deep Gold Mine
2002
Sinking of main shaft completed.

New gold plant commissioned
2004
Twin Shaft system commissioned
2006
Placer Dome acquired by Barrick. Barrick sold its stake in South Deep in September the same year
2007
Gold Fields acquires full shareholding of Western Areas assuming full control of South Deep
2008
Gold Fields initiates a R4.3bn mine upgrade investment programme. All conventional mining stopped
2009
Low profile mechanised de-stress mining begins
2010
New-order mining right granted, with addition of the ‘Uncle Harry’s’ contiguous area

Gold Fields concludes black economic empowerment (BEE) transaction which introduces new shareholders to South Deep
2011
BEE transaction comes into effect - Gold Fields holds 90% of South Deep, while BEE shareholders, including two community trusts, hold remaining 10%
2012
Centralised tailings storage facility and installed infrastructure around shaft system completed
2015
Mining converted from low profile to high profile mechanised destress. Corridor span and numbers decreased
2016
Gold Fields implements R2.3bn ‘Rebase Plan’ to assist South Deep in reaching its full operational potential
2018
45-day labour dispute and restructuring of South Deep to ensure sustainability unfortunately results in retrenchments. Mine introduces a new model to reduce mining areas, lower overheads, improve fleet availability and accelerate backfill placement.
2019
South Deep exceeds guidance and returns to profitability