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History

  • Cecil Rhodes and Charles Rudd, as joint Managing Directors, are co-founders of The Gold Fields of South Africa Limited.

  • The Gold Fields of South Africa Limited is renamed Consolidated Gold Fields of South Africa to mine the deep-level gold deposits of the Witwatersrand.

  • Using a magnetometer, Dr Rudolf Krahman discovered the vast gold deposits of the West Wits Line near Carletonville, including the mines known today as Driefontein and Kloof.

  • On 12 November 1932, West Witwatersrand Areas Limited is formed to take over the Gold Fields MR and to continue exploration work.

  • Exploration activities 1933 to 1939 culminate in registration of West Driefontein Mining Company on 7 March 1945. Sinking of the No 1 and 2 Shafts commences (now the No 11 and 12 Shafts).

  • West Driefontein starts milling in 1952.

  • Tragically, 29 people lose their lives when a severe subsidence results in the collapse of the entire sorting and crushing plant on West Driefontein.

  • Intensive drilling carried out between 1962 and 1963 indicates the viability of an area adjoining West Driefontein mine and the East Driefontein Gold Mining Company Limited is registered on 3 May 1968.

  • Disaster strikes in October 1968 when a stope in the 8 Shaft area and the entire East Driefontein development area is flooded and threatens the whole of West Driefontein. A tremendous effort saves the mines without loss of life.

  • East Driefontein starts production in 1972, with an expected life of 52 years, and is immediately among the lowest cost producers in South Africa.

  • West Driefontein succeeds Crown Mines as the largest gold producer ever.

  • On 1 July 1981 East Driefontein Gold Mining Company Ltd changes its name to Driefontein Consolidated Ltd and West Driefontein becomes a wholly-owned subsidiary of Driefontein Consolidated Ltd but still manages its own lease area.

  • In September 1999 the two entities are formally amalgamated, pooling their resources to form one mine, Driefontein Gold Mine.

  • Gold Fields wins control of the Driefontein Gold Mine by buying AGA’s 21.5% shareholding, making Gold Fields the world’s second largest gold producer. Gold Fields Ltd holds 100% interest in GFI Mining South Africa (Proprietary) Limited which in turn hold a 100% interest in Driefontein.

  • On 30 August 2005, Driefontein officially pours the 100 millionth ounce of gold after some 53 years of production.

  • Driefontein successfully converts its old order mining licence to new order MR and approval is given for completion of 9 Shaft project.

  • Suspension of the 9 Shaft deepening project.

  • 5 Shaft decline option PFS replaced the 9 Shaft deepening option.

  • TSFs PFS and trial mining initiated.

  • Announcement of the unbundling of Sibanye Gold Limited from Gold Fields Limited.

  • Driefontein showed an overall improvement in all safety lagging indicators, particularly the FIFR, which improved by 64% and was the lowest ever recorded by the mine to date.

  • The PF study for the Driefontein 5 Shaft Drop-down Project completed.

  • A section 102 application was submitted to the DMR to extend the MR boundaries to include the TSFs that form part of the WRTRP.

  • 5 Shaft drop-down development commenced.

  • The management of the operation was restructured to ensure optimal production.