In the southwest of Johannesburg, teams of miners are trying to recover the gold industry, which was the driving force of the South African economy in previous years. Gold Fields South Deep mine were targeted because it had world’s second-biggest known body of gold-bearing ore deposits.
The gold deposit is big enough to be mined for next 70 years, which could significantly boost South Africa’s gold production. The problem however, is that the high cost and technical challenges of mining has caused Gold Fields to not make a profit, sending almost R30bn on the mine. CEO Nick Holland remains confident that things will come around.
Most of the spending by Gold Fields’ has been in mechanising the mine to increase output and productivity. The mining company is also increasing training of workers to use the new machines and equipment, and bring facilitators from Australia to oversee the process.