Driefontein is a large, shallow to ultra-deep level gold mining and processing operation located in the Far West Rand Goldfields of the Witwatersrand Basin, near the town of Carletonville in the Gauteng Province of South Africa, 70 km west of Johannesburg.
As of 31 December 2020, Driefontein has total gold mineral reserves of 2.5 million oz and gold mineral resources of 11.3 million oz.
At Driefontein, we’re focused on optimising the mineral resource, stabilizing production profiles at current performance levels, reducing pay limits through quality mining and cost reduction and targeting secondary reefs on an incremental basis above existing infrastructure.
Driefontein was one of the assets acquired by Sibanye when Goldfields International completed its February 2013 unbundling transaction. Mining operations have been carried out in the Far West Rand Goldfields since the late 19th century and at Driefontein since the 1930s.
Gold and uranium mineralization is contained in paleo-placer conglomerates, locally termed reefs. The principal mining activity takes place on the Multiband Carbon Leader Reef, which constitutes almost 62% of Driefontein’s mineral reserves. Additional reefs mined include the Ventersdorp Contact Reef and the Middlevlei Reef. The orebody is accessed from surface via vertical shafts, with the deepest operating level some 3,240 m below surface. Mining is focused on open ground and pillars using scattered conventional breast, mini-longwall stoping. Surface rock dumps at Driefontein were depleted in 2018.
The current mine infrastructure consists of 9 shaft complexes, including one tertiary shaft and three sub-shafts systems, six of which are producing. One mineral processing plant is in operation – No. 1 carbon-in-pulp – processing underground ore and low-grade surface rock dump material at a rate of approximately 240 tonnes per day.
Tailings are contained in two active tailings storage facilities with a combined capacity of 21.8Mt tonnes (a surplus of 10.2Mt over life-of-mine deposition requirements).
Driefontein has a converted mining right issued under the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act valid until 29 January 2037 in respect of a total mining area of 8,561ha.