£335m plan to expand world’s deepest mine an incredible 2.5 miles underground | World | News

The world’s deepest mine will soon expand thanks to a multi-million cash infusion.

Mponeng Gold Mine, an ultra-deep tabular mine in , first began producing in 1986 in Carletonville, a town roughly 90km (55 miles) southwest of the country’s capital, Johannesburg.

The mine is famously the deepest in the world, as it stretches more than four kilometres (2.5 miles) below ground.

The depth translates to approximately 3,891 metres below the datum and 2,062 below sea level.

But the already impressive mine will soon not grow any deeper despite an incoming push for development.

In February this year, Harmony Gold, the firm that owns and operates the mine, announced a ZAR7.9 billion (£336million) fund to boost its lifespan.

The fund will allow the mine to produce the precious metal for up to 13 years longer than is currently expected.

The mine is expected to last for another seven years, but the additional cash will see this extended to 20.

The £336million announced at the firm’s half-year results will allow the gold mine to operate until at least 2044, with operators hailing its “world-class infrastructure”.

During the financial results presentation, Harmony CEO Peter Steenkamp said the money would create “long-term value”.

He said: “Mponeng is an incredible mine with an existing world-class infrastructure.

“While strong commodity prices have provided Harmony with good tailwinds, improved safety, good mining discipline and operational flexibility with a stable and a predictable cost structure, remain fundamental to creating the long-term value expected by our stakeholders.

“We’re proud that, in our hands, Mponeng will reach its true potential and deliver a significant positive social impact.

“This embodies how Harmony creates long-term value for its shareholders and stakeholders.”

Once complete, the project will allow the mine to convert more than three million ounces of gold into mineral reserves, paving the way for up to eight tonnes of gold a year.

Mponeng’s miners famously brave extreme conditions under the ground, with rock walls underground reaching up to 60C and humidity levels 95 percent, which officials remedy by pumping 6,000 tonnes of ice slurry via underground reservoirs.

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