JOHANNESBURG, Jan. 24, 2012 /CNW/ - Gold Fields Limited (JSE, NYSE, NASDAQ Dubai: GFI) ("Gold Fields") and Gold One International Limited (ASX and JSE: GDO) are pleased to announce that they have entered into a Memorandum of
Understanding ("MOU") to investigate the viability of concurrently
reprocessing their combined surface tailings deposits, located on the
West Rand region of South Africa's Witwatersrand Basin. Gold One and
Gold Fields currently operate mines on the West Rand, a region with a
long history of gold and uranium mining.
In terms of the MOU, Gold Fields and Gold One (collectively, the
"parties") will jointly investigate the feasibility of establishing a
Joint Venture into which both parties will contribute surface assets
for retreatment. These assets are expected to comprise in excess of
700 million tonnes and represent over 60% of the total tailings
material in the region. The parties aim to complete a detailed scoping
study by the middle of this year, following which a decision will be
taken on whether to progress the study to a feasibility level.
Should the Joint Venture proceed, the intention is to reclaim and
retreat the historical tailings material and current tailings to
recover residual gold, uranium and sulphur. A key objective of the
project will be to address the re-deposition of the residues in
accordance with modern sustainable deposition practices, ultimately
supporting mine closure in an environmentally sustainable manner.
In 2010, Gold Fields completed extensive economic studies on its
Tailings Treatment Project ("TTP"), which is a low-grade gold and
uranium recovery project focusing on the existing tailings storage
facilities and the current underground mining horizons of Gold Fields'
West Rand operations, KloofDriefontein Complex ("KDC") and South Deep.
As at December 2010, Gold Fields declared a mineral resource of 475.6
million tonnes at its tailings storage facilities, which includes gold
mineral resources of 4.5 million ounces and uranium mineral resources
of 53.6 million pounds.
Gold One advised Gold Fields that on 9 January, 2012, it completed the
acquisition of Rand Uranium (Pty) Limited ("Rand Uranium").
Furthermore, as part of the Rand Uranium transaction, Gold One
established the Randfontein Surface Operations, which are currently
processing approximately 300,000 tonnes of tailings material per month
through the Cooke Gold Plant. Gold One also advised that it had
commenced with a review of its Cooke Uranium Project.
Rand Uranium had earlier completed a comprehensive definitive
feasibility study on the processing of the Cooke Tailings Deposit for
the extraction of both gold and uranium (including 70% of detailed and
already completed engineering design). The primary focus of the
feasibility study is the construction of a uranium metallurgical plant
to treat the Cooke Tailings Deposit. In addition, during the December
2011 quarter, Gold One stated that it commenced assessing the potential
treatment of several other surface tailings deposits that exist on the
mining and prospecting licenses acquired from Rand Uranium.
The combined consideration of the Gold One, Rand Uranium and Gold Fields
studies, as well as the possibility of utilising existing and planned
metallurgical plant infrastructure, will allow the companies to
significantly fast-track a joint economic assessment of the
reprocessing of the combined tailings deposits.
Gold One President and Chief Executive Officer Neal Froneman comments:
"I am excited about the opportunity of forging a strategic relationship
with Gold Fields. Economic recovery of gold and uranium from
historical tailings deposits has been successfully demonstrated in
other districts of the Witwatersrand Goldfields. The combination of
our extensive technical studies and the quality of assets that would be
pooled into the partnership presents an exciting prospect for the Joint
Venture and growth of Gold One's surface business. Importantly, the
economically sustainable retreatment of the existing tailings deposits
will also have a positive environmental impact, benefiting all
stakeholders in the district in which we operate."
Gold Fields Chief Executive Officer Nick Holland comments: "This is an
exciting opportunity to investigate the feasibility of extracting value
from our substantial surface resources on the West Rand. Gold Fields
already has projects in place to retreat our tailings and the MOU with
Gold One allows us to further explore a relatively low risk opportunity
to extract value from Gold Fields' surface resources that is not
inherent in our share price."
Notes to editors
About Gold Fields
Gold Fields is one of the world's largest unhedged producers of gold
with attributable annualised production of 3.5 million gold equivalent
ounces from eight operating mines in Australia, Ghana, Peru and South
Africa. Gold Fields also has an extensive and diverse global growth
pipeline with four major projects in resource development and
feasibility, with construction decisions expected in the next 18 to 24
months. Gold Fields has total attributable gold equivalent Mineral
Reserves of 76.7 million ounces and Mineral Resources of 225.4 million
ounces. Gold Fields is listed on the JSE Limited (primary listing), the
New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), NASDAQ Dubai Limited, Euronext in
Brussels (NYX) and the Swiss Exchange (SWX).
Sponsor: J.P. Morgan Equities Limited
SOURCE Gold Fields Limited
For further information:
Gold Fields Limited
150 Helen Road,
Postnet Suite 252
Private Bag X30500