Discovery of payable Ventersdorp Contract Reef and Upper Elsburg conglomerates near Westonaria
Establishment of Elsburg Gold Mining Company
Elsburg consolidated into Western Areas Gold Mining
Recognition that orebody had potential for mechanised mining
South Deep Exploration formed to raise funds for continued exploration
Western Areas Gold Mining and South Deep Exploration Company merged. Shaft sinking commenced
Placer Dome/Western Areas joint venture formed to develop South Deep
Project renamed South Deep Gold Mine
Sinking of main shaft completed.
New gold plant commissioned
Twin Shaft system commissioned
Placer Dome acquired by Barrick. Barrick sold its stake in South Deep in September the same year
Gold Fields acquires full shareholding of Western Areas assuming full control of South Deep
Gold Fields initiates a R4.3bn mine upgrade investment programme. All conventional mining stopped
Low profile mechanised destress mining begins
New-order mining right granted, with addition of the ‘Uncle Harry’s’ contiguous area
Gold Fields concludes black economic empowerment (BEE) transaction with Invictus Gold which introduces new shareholders to South Deep
BEE transaction comes into effect - Gold Fields holds 90% of South Deep, while BEE shareholders, including the South Deep Education and South Deep Community Trusts, hold remaining 10%
Centralised tailings storage facility and installed infrastructure around shaft system completed
Mining converted from low profile to high profile mechanised destress.
Gold Fields implements R2.3bn ‘Rebase Plan’ to assist South Deep in reaching its full operational potential
45-day labour dispute and restructuring of South Deep to ensure sustainability unfortunately results in retrenchments. Mine introduces a new operating model to reduce mining areas, lower overheads, improve fleet availability and accelerate backfill placement.
South Deep exceeds guidance and returns to profitability