JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – The world's new deepest mine was both safe and low-cost, AngloGold Ashanti vice-president Southern Africa Johan Viljoen said of the Mponeng gold mine in South Africa, which had broken through the 3 777 m depth level to create a global record.
Viljoen reported that the company had beaten the record held by Savuka gold mine, also an AngloGold Ashanti asset, for the past 28 years.
"Last week, we actually went past the deepest point in the world, and every day that we blast at Mponeng, we are actually going deeper," he sold Mining Weekly Online.
Important, was that the company had accomplished its task without a single fatality and only two lost-time incidents in the three-year period.
"It's official, and we will now apply to the Guinness Book of Records," said Viljoen.
The cash costs at Mponeng were far lower than any other deep-level mine, as well as many shallow mines, proving, said Viljoen, that "deep can also be cheap".
He said the world's deepest mine was producing gold at $222/oz.
Mponeng last year achieved a million fatality-free shifts and was runner-up in the fall-of-ground and the national safety campaign on low fatality, lost-time injuries and dressing cases.
"It's leading stuff," Viljoen reiterated.
With the current sink, the mine would go down to 4 100 m, which was another 300 m below the current record-breaking depth, and a prefeasibiity was under way for the Carbon Leader project, which would take Mponeng to 4 500 km below surface.