Gold Fields “’
African and international
operations rescue
production
 
Johannesburg, South Africa —- MININGREVIEW.COM — 05 November 2010 – Gold Fields Limited “’ the world’s fourth-largest listed gold producer “’ says the company’s African and certain international operations will help it meet production targets, in the wake of first-quarter profit falling, partly due to the strong rand.

Chief executive Nick Holland said projects in Africa, including Ghana and Mali, plus the Philippines, would keep the company on track to reach its aim of producing 5Mozpa by 2015.

Vestact analyst Sasha Naryshkine said: “They will have a big benefit when they grow overseas, and on the balance things look pretty fine for them.” He added that lower production costs at its businesses outside South Africa, were  likely to help the miner reach its production target.

Gold Fields reported headline earnings of 99 cents per share in the July-September first quarter, down by a third from 147 cents in April-June.

A Reuters survey showed that the strong rand would weigh on earnings in the September quarter at South Africa’s top three gold producers, even as the price of gold hits a record high.

Earnings were also hit by a US$30 million (R207 million) one-time taxation in the September quarter.

South Africa producers face high production costs because they have some of the deepest mines in the world,  and profits have also recently been hit by Eskom power increases.

The price of gold in the three months to September averaged a record $1,246 per ounce, up $51 per ounce or 4 percent on the previous quarter.

The company’s attributable gold output during the period totalled 908 000 ounces “’ a two-year high “’ compared with 898 000 ounces in the April-June quarter. Gold Fields has forecast attributable equivalent gold production of between 3.5 to 3.8 million ounces for the year to end-June 2011.