South Africa’s Gold Mines Face Uncertain Future – Wall Street Journal

WESTONARIA, South Africa—At Sibanye Gold Ltd.’s Kloof mine in the heart of the world’s largest known gold reserve, more than 10,000 workers toil daily at depths of around 2 miles—a striking image of the scale and ambition of an industry that until recently enjoyed booming profits and plentiful production.

But the golden era for South Africa’s producers now appears to be over. Upended by a toxic combination of falling prices, intensifying labor disputes and the surging cost of ever-deeper exploration, the country’s largest…