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This page is under review. For the latest information, please refer to our Integrated Annual Report 2018, released on 29 March 2019.


Driefontein started production in 1952 and has historically produced more than 108Moz of gold.

Driefontein is located in the West Wits Line of the Witwatersrand Basin, near Carletonville, approximately 70km west of Johannesburg in the Gauteng province of South Africa. Topography is characterised by moderately undulating plains, classified as Bankenveld, consisting of grassland with livestock farming widespread in the surrounding areas.

Driefontein is a large, established, shallow to ultra-deep-level gold mine The current mine infrastructure consists of six producing shaft complexes that mine open ground and pillars (white areas) with the deepest operating level currently some 3,420m below surface (50 Level at 5 Shaft) and three gold processing plants. The principal mining takes place on the Carbon Leader Reef (CLR), which constitutes almost 62% of the Mineral Reserves, the VCR 32%, the Middlevlei Reef (MVR) 6% and the remainder from surface sources.

In 2017, underground production at Driefontein of 13,262kg; 426,400oz (2016: 13,920kg, 447,600oz) was 5% lower year-on-year, due to an 8% decline in yield partially offset by a 4% increase in throughput. The decrease in grade was primarily due to lower grades at the Driefontein 5 and 8 shafts, which were expected and in line with plan. Gold production from surface sources decreased by 21% to 1,742kg (2016: 2,210kg), in line with the decline in yield owing to depletion of the higher-grade surface resources. Surface throughput remained steady at 3.9Mt.

Locality plan

Driefontein location

Key statistics

   2017 2016 201520142013
Main developmentm14,12713,45715,70417,37617,751
Area mined000m²321311384375398
Tonnes milledMt6.
Gold produced/soldkg15,00416,13017,35017,73518,775
Operating costsR/t1,022937907916919
– undergroundR/t2,5562,3741,9411,7731,750
– surfaceR/t183182165169165
Operating profitRm1,8733,8343,0022,9173,282
Operating margin%2341363740
Capital expenditureRm1,1551,0529941,1491,023
– sustainingRm235219249465320
– ore reserve developmentRm876779727684703
– projectsRm445418  
Total cash costR/kg411,148355,416309,764283,129265,997
All-in costR/kg490,893424,872373,752357,333332,660
All-in cost margin%828211923

Hoisting and production capacities

Operating shaftOperational hoisting capacity (ktpm)Planned production (ktpm)*
1 SV10532
1 T12132
6 SV2612
4 SV5729
5 SV15965

* Planned production is five-year hoisted average from 2018 onwards

Plant capacities

PlantDesign capacity (ktpm)Current operational capacity (ktpm)Average recovery factor (%)Material treated
1 (CIP)24024096.6UG/SRD
2 (CIP)20018083.9SRD
3 (CIP)1159680.0SRD