South Africa region

South Deep is a long life, mechanised bulk mine located in the Witwatersrand Basin, and is designed to access and exploit one of the largest undeveloped gold ore bodies in the world.

The Upper Elsburg ore body is well understood due to information integrated from surface drilling, surface 3D seismics, underground long incline drilling and mine definition drilling. Key required primary infrastructure has been installed and is expanded as the mine continues in the production build-up phase.

At steady state, the mine will be a low-cost, long-life mechanised mining operation. Due to its depth and fully mechanised mining method, South Deep has no real benchmark operation in the industry and the current focus therefore remains on establishing the foundation to drive productivity and leverage unit costs.


Mineral Resources


(an increase of 5% net of depletion)

Mineral Reserves


(marginally up net of depletion)

A key initiative introduced in 2017 was the Journey To Operational Excellence – focusing on driving organisational transformation embedding a high performance culture and continual improvement. The implementation of this initiative is pivotal on providing strong leadership with a clear strategy and goal alignment across the business. Building organisational capability and establishing systems that will enable and unlock the full potential of our people and the business is a clear priority.

2017 was the first year of the rebase plan, and encouraging results were achieved. The rebase plan incorporated improvements in mine design and geotechnical parameters, as well as infrastructure required to support the production plan. The Geotechnical Review Board continues to review the mine design and ground support parameters plus recommend opportunities for further improvement.

South Deep's own technical abilities were strengthened with the establishment of the Production Engineering Department in 2017. This department will drive continuous improvement in overall blasting activity through quality control and quality assurance (QA/QC) initiatives. These improvements lay the foundation for long-term sustainable gold production, underlain by a strong focus on compliance to plan, equipment productivity, mining dilution and ore recovery.