The world’s deepest mines
Out of ten, 8 of the world’s deepest mines are situated in south Africa… the remaining two (Kidd Creek & Creighton) reside in Ontario, Canada. Below are some examples of these.
Mponeng Gold Mine
Located in Johannesburg, South Africa… this is currently the deepest operational mine in the world. The mine is situated beneath the ground ranging from 2.4km deep to more than 3.9km. Ongoing attempts at expanding have lead the record to creep over the 4km mark. The gold reserve is estimated to be around the 13.7 million ounces mark.
TauTona Gold Mine
Found in the west wits region of south Africa, this gold mine ranks 2nd in world when it comes to depth, the mine operates between 1.85km to 3.45km but in 2008 a second shaft was added extending the range to 3.9km. The reserve is much smaller than the biggest mine at around 1.713 million ounces.
Savuka Gold Mine
Also located in the west wits region of south Africa, this is the third deepest mine in the world and exploits the gold contained reefs below at 3.7km Savuka shares a common processing plant with TauTona mine. The mine only has a small reserve of around 0.56 million ounces. In 2008 the infrastructure and shafts of the mine where badly damaged by a seismic event, the mine was restored and fully functional by 2011.
The Driefontein mine, situated in the Gauteng province of south Africa lies within the west wits line goldfield. It is the 4th deepest mine in the world with an extended depth up to 3.4km. The reserve of the mine is estimated to be around 4.369 million ounces.
Kusasaletho Gold Mine
Operating since 1978, the mine operated by Harmony is located just over 75km west of Johannesburg, Currently the fifth deepest mine in the world with a depth of 3.2km. The mine employs around 5000 workers and 1000 contractors and is proven to have a reserve of 2.7 million ounces and an estimated 4.4 million ounces of lesser quality gold after that.
Moab Khotsong Gold Mine
Moab Khotsong is one of AngloGold Ashanti’s Vaal River operations in the South Africa. The mine is located around 180km south-west of Johannesburg at the towns of Orkney and Klerksdorp, running since 2003 it it has a mining range of 2.6km to 3.045 and is the 6th deepest mine in the world. Currently the mine has a life expectancy to l be in operations until 2040, it has around 6.6 million ounces of gold left in the reserves.
South Deep Gold Mine
This is the 7th deepest mine in the world and is also located 45km southwest of Johannesburg, the mine has a mining reach of 2,995m below the surface.
The deep mine has two shafts known as south complex and the twin shaft complex. The mine is fully mechanised and has a reserve of around 39 million ounces of gold and is expected to run until 2092.
Kids Creek Copper and Zinc Mine
Located 27km north of Timmins in Ontario, Canada. This is the world’s 8th deepest mine and the deepest base metal in the world, the mining depth can reach 2,927 metres beneath the surface. Operations started in 1966. The mine will not be around for much longer as in 2011 a plan was put in place so the mine would carry on until 2018.
Great Noligwa Gold Mine
Residing in the Vaal river, south Africa… the mine is located 15km southeast of the town Orkney. Currently 9th in the world’s deepest mine… the mine has an average mining reach of 2.4km but can reach lengths of 2.6km below the surface.
The proven and probable reserve is 390,000 ounces of gold. The mine employs 2,985 permanent employees and 78 contractors.
This is an underground mine located in the city of greater Sudbury, Ontario. It is the tenth deepest mine in the world. It is also the world’s deepest nickel mine. It has an extended depth of 2.5km, the first operations where started in 1901 with underground work starting in 1906, the mine is estimated to have a reserve of 32mt of nickel and copper.