Contacts. Brief history of gold mining in South Africa. INCLUDING MAJOR EVENTS. 1873. First large-scale production began when alluvial deposits were discovered at Pilgrims Rest. 1884. Gold was discovered in the Witwatersrand which led to The Witwatersrand Basin has made significant contributions to South Africas economy and remains the most important gold depository in the history of mining. Since the establishment of the first shaft in 1934, Kloof has produced more than 70 Moz of gold. Apr 01, 2020 The main area of gold production in South Africa is the Witwatersrand Basin, which has been mined for over a century, producing gold of over 41,000 tons. The gold deposits that are mined here are unlike most other deposits of gold around the world. South Africa hosts most of the worlds deepest gold mines in the world.