South Africa’s Gold Industry Experienced 9 Armed Attacks, 2 Deaths In 2019

Written by Peter Pedroncelli
Gold mining South Africa gold industry
Organized crime syndicates have targeted firms in South Africa’s gold industry in 2019 with heavily armed attackers looking to steal gold. In this photo taken Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014, miners are photographed underground during a journalist’s tour to the South Deep gold mine south of Johannesburg. Image: AP Photo/Themba Hadebe

Organized crime syndicates have targeted companies in South Africa’s gold industry with heavily armed attackers looking to steal gold.

There were nine attacks in 2019 resulting in two deaths, CNBCAfrica reports.

During the attacks, employees and security personnel are typically held hostage and assaulted. 

The gold mining sector in South Africa employs around 93,000 people and produces 4.2 percent of the world’s gold.

The most recent attack happened in December at Harmony Gold’s Kalgold plant, an open-pit gold mine on the Kraaipan Greenstone Belt in the North West Province, according to SowetanLive.

No gold was stolen but a security guard responding to the attack was killed.

In October, men armed with automatic rifles took DRDGold employees hostage to gain access to the Ergo gold plant outside of Johannesburg.

The men killed DRDGold’s chief security officer and escaped with 34.7 pounds of gold in concentrate worth an estimated $840,000, MiningWeekly reports.

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Companies in the gold mining industry have called for a special policing unit to be created to deal with the syndicates committing these attacks.