Underground mining is one of the most popular mining operations. The majority of the deepest mines are located in South Africa. Here we look at 10 underground mines active and non-operational in order of depth.
10. Kolar Gold Fields
Kolar Gold Fields is a mining region located in India, the company is headquartered in Robertsonpet. This mine was closed during 2001 because of the fall in gold prices, even though gold is still present in the mine. During the time this mine was active it produced 900 tonnes of gold.
Kolar Gold Fields measures 3.2 km in depth.
9. Blyvooruitzicht Mine
Blyvooruitzicht Mine is a gold mine and mining town based in South Africa. The mining town was first built during the 1930s. The mine itself is still active, and is known for its production of gold and uranium.
Blyvooruitzicht Mine measures 3.213 km in depth.
8. Kloof Mine
Kloof Mine, now known as the KDC mine, is located in South Africa. It is the largest mine in the northern area of South Africa. The mine is active and produces uranium and gold, Kloof Mine has a reserve of 256.4 million tonnes of uranium ore.
Kloof Mine measures 3.347 km in depth.
7. Empire Mine
Located in California, United states, Empire Mine and mining town closed production during 1956. The mine first became active in 1869 and was mainly used for the production of gold. Empire Mine was the most famous gold mine in California, it is estimated to have produced around $300 million worth of gold.
Empire Mine measures 3.355km in depth.
6. Kusasalethu Mine
Kusasalethu Mine is an active underground mine located in Carletonville, South Africa. The mine was formerly known as Elandskraal Mine, and it has been in operation since 1978. During 2018 the was estimated to have a reserve of 857,000 ounces of gold.
Kusasalethu Mine measures 3.388km in depth.
5. Driefontein Mine
This mine is also located in Carletonville, South Africa and owned by Sibanye-Stillwater. Driefontein Mine is still active and was acquired during 2002, it has over 10,000 employees and was responsible for producing 250,000 ounces during 2020. The mine is estimated to continue production until 2030 and is known for also producing uranium.
Driefontein Mine measures 3.420km in depth.
4. East Rand Mine
East Rand Mine closed during 2008 and was previously active for around 120 years. The mine is located in Boksburg, South Africa, and first opened during 1893. During the time East Rand Mine was in production the mine had around 3,800 employees, and was known for its production of gold.
East Rand Mine measures 3.585km in depth.
3. Savuka Gold Mine
Located in Randfontein, South Africa, Savuka Gold Mine is an active underground mine. Savuka Gold Mine produced 49,000 ounces of gold during 2011 and the reserve is said to hold an estimated 5.26 billion tonnes. Since 2012 the mine's production is minimal and it's coming close to closing. Savuka is part of AngloGold’s west wits operations.
Savuka Gold Mine measures 3.7km in depth.
2. TauTona Mine
TauTona Mine was first opened during 1962 the mine was owned and operated by AngloGold. The mine closed in 2018 but during its time of production was known as one of the most efficient Mines in South Africa. The mine has 800km of tunnels and once had over 5000 workers, during TauTona Mines last financial year it produced 209,000 ounces of gold.
TauTona Mine measures 3.9km in depth.
1. Mponeng Gold Mine
Mponeng Gold Mine is the deepest mine on earth, and was known to be one of the most substantial gold mines. The mine is located in Carletonville, South Africa, it is still active and is owned by Harmony Gold. Commissioned during 1987, Mponeng Gold Mine has around 5400 metric tonnes of rock excavated on a daily basis. The journey from the surface to the bottom of the mine takes just over an hour.
Mponeng Gold Mine measures 4.0km in depth.
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