Gold Mining in South Africa

Gold mining in South Africa started with the gold rushes to Pilgrim’s Rest and Barbeton which were precursors to the biggest discovery of all, in 1886, when George Harrison, an Australian prospector, found traces of gold on the Witwatersrand.

In the 1900s, the British decided to focus on the mine of the Archaean Witwatersrand Basin where thousands of people from all over the world rushed to.

Nowadays, the Wits sedimentary basin stretches through an arc of approximately 400km across the Free State, North West and Gauteng Provinces and there are other smaller gold producers outside of the Wits, in the form of Archaean greenstone belts such as the Barberton Greenstone Belt in the Mpumalanga and the Kraaipan greenstone belt in the west of Johannesburg.

Two of the nation’s gold mines, the East Rand Mine and the Tautona mine are the deepest in the world reaching 4,000metres depth.

Gold and other mineral discoveries played an important part in the growth of the early South African Republic. Over the century of gold mining in South Africa, Johannesburg has acquired the name of “Egoli “, meaning City of Gold.

South Africa is still a leading producer of gold (276 metric tons by London precious metals consultancy GFMS in 2007) after China (270 tons by the China Gold Association). Nowadays, there are

The country’s major gold producers (producing more than 1Moz annually) are AngloGold, Gold Fields, Harmony and Durban Roodepoort Deep (DRD). Numerous other gold mines exist, operated by Avgold, JCI Gold and African Rainbow Minerals.

The price of gold has declined constantly in the last few years, mainly because of competition from cheaper gold from Russia and Australia and with the amount of investments require for gold production at deep level.

Gold in South Africa 2007 provides comprehensive data on gold mining in South Africa.


The Gold of Africa Museum in Cape Town promotes African gold jewellery. There are some stunning pieces with historical explanation.

And at the end of your visit, you should have a look at the souvenir shop which sells beautiful copies of some of the pieces in the museum.

They also offer jewellery making course where you will be able to design and create an exclusive piece of jewellery for R 770.

If you are interested in the course, let me know I will arrange it for you.

And to finish the day in a nice tone, they offer djumbe lessons and a beautiful african style set menu at their restaurant. I love going there whenever I have visitors.


To have a feeling of an old gold mine and experience the Gold reef city miners fortune, I advise you to spend a day in Gold Reef City in Johannesburg.

The Gold Reef City Tour includes underground visit, gold pour demonstration, Miners dancing performance...

The Sparkling Tour will start witha lekkerglass of sparkling wine while you discover the 4 C's of diamonds and the history behind it, the 'Diamond Wall of Fame' and the 'Tanzanite Boutique' for the pleasure of your eyes and maybe more...!


Jewel Africa offers tours in their working factory. It will help you to understand the work which has been placed into each piece in the showroom.

Shimansky are specialised in jewelleries made of platinum, diamonds and tanzanite.

Do you know that tanzanite are found along a 4km strip at the foothills of Mount Kilimandjaro in Tanzania and they predict that in 10 to 12 years, the gem will be ompletely depleted.

I am also very fond of Free Range Jewels . They offer such an unique range of jewellery, very organic, focused on nature and it is so refreshing.

Another great designer is Lady Peculiar which offers a very pretty range of jewellery.

On the more classical style, I like Charles Craig and Puzzle rings which has a very interesting concept.

From Gold mining in South Africa to Unusual Tours

From Gold mining in South Africa to Voila Cape Town