Gold Mining in South Africa

Gold Mining in South Africa

Over 50% of all gold reserves are found in South Africa, with the Witwatersrand Basin remaining the largest gold resource in the world.

In 1975, South Africa was responsible for producing 40% of the gold ever mined. By 2010, however, China affirmed its status as the world’s largest gold producer with production of 324 tonnes of gold, followed by Australia (222.8 tonnes), and South Africa with 219.8 tonnes. Today, South Africa produces only 4.2% of the world’s gold.

In South Africa, mining for gold typically involves methods like panning, sluicing, dredging, hard rock mining and by-product mining. The most effective method used is hard rock mining, since reserves are typically encased in deep underground rock.

Multinational gold mining companies continue to invest in South Africa with gold ore found mainly in the inland provinces.

Where is gold found in South Africa?

The majority of the country’s gold resources are located in the Witwatersrand Basin, one of the world’s largest gold placer deposits.

This underground geological formation surfacing in the Witwatersrand is a 56 kilometre-long north-facing escarpment running from east to west. It begins in Bedfordview in the Gauteng Province’s East Rand, through Johannesburg and Roodepoort, to Krugersdorp, both in Gauteng’s West rand.

Gold is also found in the Free State and the North West Provinces.

Gold production in South Africa begins with mining, which is done across Gauteng, the North West, Free State and Gauteng provinces.
Image: Acknowledgments to the Minerals Council South Africa.

Total Mining Projects in SA


Total Gold Mining Projects in SA


Book a free demo to discover what AMIQ can do for you.

Mine types

There are 89 gold mines in the country:

  • 40 underground mines
  • 13 surface mines
  • 4 surface/underground combination mines
  • 32 undefined mines

The country has unmined deposits due to inappropriate mining techniques, or unattrexecutable gold prices at the time, which can now be exploited. With the advancement of technology, skills and techniques to extract these gold reefs have been put in place.

AMIQ is the only mining information service in Africa that can provide you with information on all these mining projects in Africa. This service includes all mining projects from pre-feasibility stage through to mine closure.

Mine phases

All gold mining projects are in various stages of production. As of November 2023, these production phases are:

Mine Cycle Phase: Current Projects:
Grassroots: 18
Prefeasibility: 4
Feasibility: 3
Bankable: 6
Execution: 3
Operational: 29
Dormant: 0
Dormant L/R: 12
Closed: 3
Complete: 2
Consolidated: 9

Be sure to check AMIQ project phase definitions, which are explained on our mining business opportunities page.

The project with the most capital value is the West Rand Tailings Retreatment Project (WRTRP), valued at R12.3bn, and which comprises the combined reserves of 677,3 Mt from the historic Driefontein, Kloof and Cooke Tailings Storage Facilities containing gold and uranium mineral Reserves of 6,2 Moz and 97,2 Mlb, respectively.

Africa Mining IQ is Africa’s largest online portal for mining intelligence, granting you exclusive access to over 800 mine owners and the biggest mining companies and mining projects in Africa. The portal not only contains detailed information on approximately 2 000 African mining projects (more than 500 of them in SA), but includes detailed information on project engineers and suppliers throughout Africa.

Africa is one of the most mineral-rich continents in the world. Resources in Africa are still largely untapped and despite the hundreds of mining projects in Africa, there is massive room for growth. The future of mining is in Africa – but not without research and guidance. All our research is available to Africa Mining IQ subscribers.


Contact us for subscription plans and pricing or request a demo today.

New projects

The invention of industrial air cooling and air quality control systems saw gold mines reach unprecedented depths – the deepest being 3 900 metres. This method is accompanied by chemical beneficiation, where chemicals, such as cyanide, or activated carbon are added to rough ore and processed – sometimes with heat, water, agitation, electro-winning etc. Modern gold beneficiation methods can produce gold of 99.9999% purity. Making the refining process more thorough and economically viable, some projects facilitate the re-processing of 1.7 billion tonnes of gold tailings to refine a further 15 million ounces of gold.

New mines, such as the Burnstone Mine, 80 km south-east of Johannesburg with an estimated value of ZAR 3,5 billion, continue to open. The project is estimated to have a lifespan of 25 years. The opening of other gold projects, such as the R1 billion Doornkop South Reef Mine – expected to deliver 82.8 tonnes of gold within a 20-year period – adds to the idea that mining for gold is still a viable and lucrative industry in SA.

Putting you in touch with:

± 4 000
executable mining contacts

± 1 100
executable engineering contacts

± 2 072
current projects


Join over 3 000 international subscribers using Africa Mining IQ to grow their business.

Leading global companies use Africa Mining IQ:

View our current clients

Book a free demo to learn more!

Schedule a free demo to see how Africa Mining IQ can work for your business.

Find out more

+ Quick Links

Privacy Policy   Legal Notice   PAIA Manual    PAIA Manual (English)    PAIA Manual (Afrikaans)  
© Copyright 2019 All right reserved.

Projects IQ - Project Intelligence in Africa