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Damang production to increase by 20%

The Twin Towers
at Goldfields’
South Deep Gold
Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 03 May 2010 – JSE-listed gold producer Gold Fields Limited “’ the world’s No. 4 gold producer “’ is increasing production at its Damang mine in Ghana by 20% with the installation of a US$12 million (R90 million) crusher, as well as feeding improved grades into the plant.

Miningmx reports that Gold Fields has a strategy to produce one million ounces of gold annually at each of its three regional hubs, being West Africa, South America and Australasia. South Africa is pencilled in to contribute two million ounces, lifting the group to a total of five million ounces in the next five years.

The target set by CEO Nick Holland of reaching one million ounces a quarter this year has not been met, with safety-related issues in South Africa being one of the key reasons for this.

In a statement released here, the company said that as part of meeting its West African target, Gold Fields had installed a new secondary crusher, which pulverises gold-bearing rock, at its Damang mine at a cost of US$12 million (R90 million). The crusher had been completed in April and it would improve the grade or amount of gold in the ore fed into its mill, and would lift output from 200 000 to 240 000 oz a year.

Key to the higher gold output was the sourcing of high-grade ore at the mine, and Holland said these efforts had been successful, with Damang targeting a reserve of at least two million ounces in the medium term.

“The installation of the secondary crusher is an important step toward the transformation of Damang into a long-life mine, and we expect improved production over the next few quarters," Holland added. Our aim is to extend the life of Damang by at least 15 years to 2025,” he revealed.

Gold Fields brings out its first quarter results on Friday. It has told the market that it lowered its production forecast for the three months to end-March by 6% to 800 000 oz at a total cash cost of US$695/oz because of the slow start-up after year-end holidays, and a three-week shutdown of the main shaft at Kloof to repair a water column.