The TauTona Mine or Western Deep No.3 Shaft, is a gold mine in South Africa. At approximately 3.9 kilometers (2.4 mi) deep, it is home to the world's deepest mining operations, rivalled only by the Mponeng Gold Mine.
The mine is one of the three Western Deep Levels mines of the West Wits gold field west of Johannesburg. The mine is near the town of Carletonville. TauTona neighbours the Mponeng and Savuka mines, and TauTona and Savuka share processing facilities. All three are owned by AngloGold Ashanti.
The name TauTona means "great lion" in the Setswana language. The mine was built by the Anglo American Corporation and its 2 km (1.2 mi) deep main shaft was sunk in 1957.
However, the mine began operation in 1962. It is one of the most efficient mines in South Africa and remains in continuous operation even during periods when the price of gold is low.
Since its construction, two secondary shafts have been added bringing the mine to its current depth. The mine has some 800 km (500 mi) of tunnels and employs around 5,600 miners.
The mine is a dangerous place to work. The mine is so deep that temperatures in the mine can rise to life-threatening levels. Air-conditioning equipment is used to cool the mine from 55 °C (131 °F) down to a more tolerable 28 °C (82 °F). The rock face temperature reaches 60 °C (140 °F).
By 2008, the mine reached 3.9 km (2.4 mi) underground. This made it the deepest mine in the world, surpassing the 3.5 km (2.2 mi) deep East Rand Mine by a considerable margin.
According to en.wikipedia