March 11, 2013

Monday Geology Picture(s): Gold Reef City– Underground Mine Tour

Posted by Evelyn Mervine

My husband Jackie and I during the underground mine tour.

For a few weeks, I’m sharing some pictures from a visit to Gold Reef City, a gold mining themed amusement park in Johannesburg, South Africa, back in September 2012. Last week I shared some pictures of the mining-themed entrance. This week I am sharing some pictures from the underground mine tour. The park is located on the site of an old gold mine. Now that water is no longer being pumped out of the mine in large quantities, most of the mine has flooded. However, the upper part of the mine is still accessible, and you can arrange to go on an underground tour with a guide. I highly recommend the tour. It’s fascinating to see the mine, and the guide that we had was extremely knowledgeable. My husband and I were the only people signed up for the early morning tour, so our guide spent extra time with us and even pointed out a few things that weren’t on the regular tour. Since my husband and I are in the gold mining industry ourselves, we certainly had plenty of questions. Our guide said that she appreciated our enthusiasm and said that, sadly, many of the schoolchildren who go on the tour are not very interested– they are much more interested in the rides and entertainment up top! 

Without further ado, here are several pictures from the underground mine tour:

Early extent of the mine, 1916-1920. Mine goes to 975 meters depth.

The mine just before its closure in 1977. Mine goes to 3,200 meters depth.

The elevator down the mineshaft.

We were quite excited to be headed down the mineshaft.

Mining equipment. The walls are painted white to increase the effect of illumination.

This box was used to store dynamite. It has a sloping top to prevent miners from accidentally putting lanterns on top of it.

Another dynamite box.

There is an underground pub behind this door. You can rent it out for functions. Fun!

Old mining posters.

I blogged about the above mining posters previously.

Mining supports and a chute.

Jackie checking out one of the old chutes.

A simple device for counting.

A collapsed part of the mining shaft.

A rock drill.


Mining shaft with creepy mannequin man.

Mine shaft supports.

Closer view of the mine shaft surface

Informational sign about the mine. We went to the red depth-- the mine used to go quite a bit deeper!

Another view of the rockface

Old informational sign.

Another chute. That's travertine (carbonate rock) forming on the bottom.

Another old informational mine sign. I have not idea what a "Tchisa Stick" is. Does anyone know?

More signs.

Even more signs.

Headed back to the elevator.

Hope you enjoyed these pictures. Next week I’ll share some more pictures from Gold Reef City– from the gold brick pouring demonstration!