South Africa accounted for 15% of the world's gold production in 2002 and 12% in 2005, though the nation had produced as much as 30% of world output as recently as 1993. Despite declining production, South Africa's gold exports were valued at $3.8 billion USD in 2005.
For example, Gold Fields Ltd. operates the Kloof and Drienfontein mines in Guaten Province, which is west of Johannesburg, South Africa, as a single complex that it refers to as KDC. Some rankings of gold mines report annual production from KDC as a single number, while others report annual production from Kloof and Drienfontein separately.
Other gold mines use underground mining, where the ore is extracted through tunnels or shafts. South Africa has the world's deepest hard rock gold mine up to 3,900 metres (12,800 ft) underground. At such depths, the heat is unbearable for humans, and air conditioning is required for the safety of the workers.
The Beatrix mine is in Welkom town, about 290km (180 miles) south-west of Johannesburg. It is owned by Sibanye-Stillwater mining firm. It has 23 levels, going down to 1,000 metres (3,280 ft) below ground. Africa Live: More updates; The human cost of South Africa's mining industry "All employees appear to be fine.