St. Helena Gold Mine

St. Helena Underground Wine Cellar

Useful Information

Location: Welkom, Lejeweleputswa District. 160 kilometers northeast of Bloemfontein.
Open: closed.
Fee: closed.
Classification: MineGold Mine
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours: D=2 h.
Address: Joel Gold Mine, PO Box 128, Virginia, 9430, South Africa, Tel: +27-57-733-7911, Fax: +27-57-733-0040.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1947 Welkom founded following a major gold discovery.


St. Helena Gold Mine is a working gold mine located at Welkom, the state capital. Welkom was planned completely, before the first brick was laid. The architect was Sir Ernest Oppenheimer who then was Anglo-American Chairman. The result is called Garden City, where mining and industrial areas blend harmoniously with the rest of the city.

In the Welkom Library is the Gold Museum, which is an exhibition about the local gold mining. It is possible to visit the mine and its wine cellar at 857 m below the surface, which is the worlds' deepest wine cellar.

There are actually three tourist spots in the town which are frequently listed, the underground mine tours, the underground wine cellar and the gold museum. Unfortunately, there is not a single line of actual information on the web, they are only mentioned by websites citing other websites. Not even the tourist information page of Welkom lists further details. There is no info on tourist portals like tripadvisor. There is no local tourist information, and the governmental tourist organization has only dead links. The online impression of this state is that tourism was shut down completely. While this is most likely not the case, it seems all three tourist sites of Welkom are actually closed, which is quite sad.