South Deep installs award winning steel headgear
In 2011, Gold Fields completed the installation of one of the world’s tallest steel headgear structures, standing at
87 meters, at its South Deep Twin Shafts complex in South Africa. The new headgear is part of the conversion of
South Deep’s existing Vent Shaft into a hoisting shaft that will add an additional 195,000 tonnes per month of
rock hoisting capacity at the mine. This, together with the existing main shaft rock winder, will contribute to the
achievement of South Deep’s gold production target of a 700,000 ounce annual production run-rate by end-2015.
The South Deep project team faced a number of challenges whilst installing the headgear. For example, the
existing headgear was still required for the daily operation of South Deep and so could not be shut down during
installation. Assisted by some of the world’s leading contractors, the team employed an innovative approach to
overcome this challenge by using the largest mobile cranes in South Africa to erect the new steel headgear over
the top of the existing structure. This meant that the new headgear could be erected with minimal operational
In September 2011, the South Deep headgear project was awarded first place in the Mining and Industrial
category at the prestigious Southern African Institute of Steel Construction (SAISC) Steel Awards 2011.