Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 18 March, 2008 – Yesterday’s granting of additional power means leading international producer Gold Fields Limited is now in a position to re-plan and reconsider future strategy at its Kloof and West Driefontein mines.
Gold Fields confirmed here late yesterday that national electricity utility Eskom had granted an additional 26MW of power for use at the company’s Kloof and Driefontein gold mines. This increases the total power available to Gold Fields’ South African mines to 566 MW, or 95% of the historical average consumption profile.
Head of Gold Fields South African operations Terence Goodlace, welcomed this as a very positive development. “The granting of additional power to our mines will go a long way to help saving jobs at Driefontein and Kloof gold mines,” he said. “With the additional power, Gold Fields can now re-plan and re-consider the future of No. 6 shaft at Driefontein, as well as Nos. 3 and 8 shafts at Kloof,” he added. These shafts had been downscaled or had production stopped since the onset of the power constraints in January.
There is no additional supply of power to either Beatrix or South Deep gold mines, but Gold Fields believes these operations can function at current levels of electricity supply, owing to the shallower depth at which Beatrix operates and the nature of the restructuring operations underway at South Deep.
“It must be pointed out, however, that the additional power allocation will not prevent the forecast production losses of more than 20 % in the current quarter (Q3F08),” Goodlace emphasised.
“We thank all stakeholders who have recognised the strategic importance of the gold mining industry,” he said. “We will continue to use the power allocated to us strategically and sparingly, and will also continue, with the rest of South Africa, to seek ways to conserve power, while maximising that which has been allocated to us to the widest benefit possible,” Goodlace concluded.