Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 30 September 2009 – Gold Fields Limited’s goal is to grow its output to five million ounces over a four to five year time horizon, with South Africa producing 2.2 to 2.5 million ounces, and each of its international regions (South America, West Africa and Australasia) producing approximately one million attributable ounces per year.
Stating this in his message in the company’s 2009 annual report, CEO Nick Holland said: “We aim to work towards this goal by advancing our regionalisation strategy and growing organically by leveraging off our existing production footprints in West Africa, South America, Australasia and South Africa. I believe that, beyond F2010, achieving one million ounces per quarter is realistic,” Holland added.
He expressed the belief that exploration remained the most cost-effective way in which to grow a gold mining company. “Through our various exploration programmes we are discovering new gold ounces for less than US$20 per ounce and, in the past year, Gold Fields has laid the foundation for what will hopefully turn out to be significant success in the future.” Exploration expenditure in F2009 was US$90.2 million (R720 million). This expenditure reflects the high quality of projects in our pipeline and, of course, stepping-up evaluation work on the more significant project areas.
“We are very fortunate that we now have a portfolio of exploration assets which is complementary to our existing asset base, and will allow Gold Fields to achieve its stated growth ambitions,” Holland stated.
During 2010 our strategic growth objectives are: to proceed at least one of our advanced stage exploration projects “’ in Mali, southern Peru and Kyrgyzstan “’ to conceptual study stage; to complete our uranium feasibility study in South Africa by early 2010; to advance the phase 2 expansion of our Cerro Corona mine in Peru; to complete the feasibility study and commence construction of our Athena discovery at St Ives; and to continue drilling and development at South Deep in South Africa.
“The key focus for the company after safety “’ which has resulted in a remarkable 55% decline in fatalities year-on-year to 21 “’ is ramping up development work, which was put on the back burner as we tackled safety at our South African mines, resulting in a 6% fall in gold output of 3.4 million oz for the year,” Holland explained.
“Ore reserve development has been designated as the second highest priority for F2010, second only to safety,” he said, setting a target of having at least 24 months of opened-up reserves.
Referring to growth, Holland said there was a lot of potential for meeting the five-year growth targets from exploration near existing mines. “At Gold Fields we see our growth coming primarily from exploration success, both near mine and green fields. While we do not discount the possibility of acquisitions, it is difficult to make accretive purchases in the current environment.”