On February 28 Harmony Gold approved the R7.9bn deepening of its Mponeng mine, in Carletonville, west of Joburg. Once the capital work is complete in 2030 the South African miner will be operating at a depth of about 4.1km, making the world’s deepest mine even deeper.

The scale and ambition of the Mponeng “extension” — Harmony has forbidden the use of the word “deepening” for the project — is a reminder of South Africa’s former pre-eminence in world gold when, during the 1970s, gold fields stretching from the Witwatersrand to the Free State and Mpumalanga supplied roughly three-quarters of all metal mined annually. Today’s reality is entirely different...

Subscribe now to unlock this article.

Support BusinessLIVE’s award-winning journalism for R129 per month (digital access only).

There’s never been a more important time to support independent journalism in SA. Our subscription packages now offer an ad-free experience for readers.

Cancel anytime.

Would you like to comment on this article?
Sign up (it's quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.