Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 22 April 2010 – Gold Fields has had “high level discussions and conversations” with AngloGold Ashanti over a possible combination of their South African operations.
This was confirmed to Miningmx.com by Gold Fields CEO Nic Holland who commented, “there’s no immediate deal on the table. Nothing substantive or formal has come from this otherwise we would have made an announcement.”
He continued: “We have had discussions from time to time about potential synergies and opportunities where our mines are contiguous. I am sure we will continue to talk about it in the future.”
Holland went on to point out that all the gold company CEOs were fairly new in their jobs and they were all grappling with the challenges that had arisen over the last couple of years in particular. “I don’t think any of these executives would be averse to seeing those discussions going further and I certainly would not,” he said. “If there’s value to be released by consolidation we would be silly not to consider it.”
But Holland made it clear his first priority was to “fix the problem” and make Gold Fields’ South African mines perform. “It’s up to us to show these assets can perform. If we can’t then we will have to relook at strategies about the structure of the portfolio, but I still think we can get these assets to perform, he declared.
“If I could unlock value by restructuring that’s something I would consider, but we have not come to any definitive view on that. You should not walk away thinking we are in favour of it.”
Miningmx.com reports that Holland’s comments come against the background of growing market speculation about a major restructuring of the South African gold sector in order to cope with negative operating conditions and to improve investment ratings of the listed equities.