6 Amazing Facts about the Mponeng Gold Mine; World’s Deepest

6 Amazing Facts about the Mponeng Gold Mine; World’s Deepest

Mponeng3_DSC_0680copyThe search for gold has always been one of mankind’s most amazing adventures, since the beginning of this activity. So it’s not really surprising to think about the curious secrets hidden by the deepest gold mine in the world: the Mponeng mine, in South Africa.

Here are some of the most exciting, but also terrifying, facts about this mine.

Fact 1

The mine is as deep as 10 Empire State Buildings and its 236 miles of tunnels are longer than the New York subway.

Mponeng2_DSC_0655copyFact 2

This entire operation and huge structure mines a seam of ore only 30 inches wide.

Fact 3

When the miners are underground, they can feel how seriously hot the rock always is. So hot that ice has to be pumped down to cool the tunnels.

Fact 4

There’s an entire city and underground economy inside the mine, where legal workers help out their illegal colleagues. The latter live, eat, and even visit prostitutes in the mines.

Mponeng_DSC_0687copyFact 5

Despite the price decrease, gold is still so expensive that the mine only needs to extract 0.35 ounces from a tonne of rock to be profitable.

Fact 6

The Mponeng mine contains the world’s loneliest ecosystem, where the rod-shaped bacterium Desulforudis audaxviator lives alone in the dark.

Content via Gizmodo | Photos via Anglogold

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