South Deep’s underground operations are accessed from surface by two shafts systems: the Twin Shaft Complex and the South Shaft Complex.
Three dimensional cross-section through South Deep showing stratigraphy and primary infrastructure.
- The Twin Shaft Complex comprises a Main and Ventilation Shaft. The Main Shaft extends in a single drop to 2,998m below surface, while the ventilation shaft extends to a depth of 2,947m below surface.
- The South Shaft Complex is a sub-vertical system, with three operating shafts, which extend to a depth of 2,786m.
The mine is divided into three main areas that reach depths of between 2,800m and 3,300m below surface:
- Current Mine uses a selective access development and Longhole open stoping mining method. Mining is scattered over a large area, which was originally mined using conventional tabular mining. Current Mine is accessed from three active levels—90, 93 and 95 access levels — via both South and Twin shafts.
- North of Wrench, which is directly south and down-dip of Current Mine, is accessed from Twin shafts. The wrench refers to the wrench fault, a geological feature that splits the orebody and does not contain gold. This mining area comprises six corridors separated by regional pillars. This area is mined using horizontal mechanised destress and longhole stoping methods and is accessed from two active levels and ramp systems.
- South of Wrench, which is directly south and down-dip of North of Wrench, will be accessed from Twin shafts. This is where the bulk of mining at South Deep will take place in future. The area will be mined once the necessary infrastructure to exploit the area has been installed.