JOHANNESBURG, April 21 /CNW/ - Gold Fields Limited (Gold Fields) (JSE, NYSE, NASDAQ Dubai: GFI) today announced that it has started the depth extension of the South Deep Ventilation Shaft, a crucial milestone in the development of South Deep, the newest mine in Gold Fields' South African portfolio. The Ventilation Shaft is the second of the two shafts which together form the Twin Shaft Complex of South Deep. The first shaft of the Twin Shaft Complex, the Main Shaft, was completed in 2004.
Nick Holland, Chief Executive Officer of Gold Fields said: "By beginning the deepening of the Ventilation Shaft we have reached another important milestone in the development of South Deep."
The shaft will be extended from its current depth of 2,760 meters to 3,000 meters. The deepening and equipping of the shaft, which includes ore storage silos and conveyor belts at shaft bottom, a new rock winder and new headgear, is set to be completed by July 2012.
The Twin Shaft complex currently has a hoisting capacity of 175,000 tons per month (tpm) through the Main Shaft. This is set to increase to 370,000 tpm (comprising 330,000 tons of ore and 40,000 tons of development waste) once the Ventilation Shaft is completed. The completion of the Ventilation Shaft and the commensurate increase in production capacity of the Twin Shaft Complex will enable the mine to build up to its full production target of between 750,000 - 800,000 ounces of gold per year by the end of 2014.
Gold Fields has allocated R8.5 billion (in current money terms) to be spent before the end of 2014 on developing the South Deep Mine. In addition to the deepening of the shaft, the funds will be used for:
- developing a new tailings facility;
- an upgraded metallurgical plant to increase the milling capacity from
220,000 tpm to a milling capacity of 330,000 tpm, with an option to
expand it further to 450,000 tpm by 2013, given the potential to
raise the hoisting capacity by an additional 120,000 tpm, once the
South Shaft system has been fully rehabilitated;
- development and installation of infrastructure around the shaft
- change to full plant tailings backfill for increased production
- refrigeration and ventilation installations; and,
- development and opening up of the ore body in preparation for mining.
"The South Deep capital programme is well resourced and tightly managed. We have made good progress nearing the end of the second year of our six year programme and we are confident that we will achieve our full production target by the end of F2014.
South Deep is on track to become one of the world's most productive, mechanised deep level gold mines and is further evidence of our continued commitment to the development of the gold sector in South Africa," Holland said.
South Deep, which, at approximately 30 million oz, has one of the largest reserves bases of any gold mine, was acquired by Gold Fields in 2007.
Notes to editors
About Gold Fields
Gold Fields is one of the world's largest unhedged producers of gold with attributable production of 3.6 million ounces* per annum from nine operating mines in South Africa, Ghana, Australia and Peru. Gold Fields also has an extensive growth pipeline with both greenfields and near mine exploration projects at various stages of development. Gold Fields has total attributable Mineral Reserves of 81 million ounces and Mineral Resources of 271 million ounces. Gold Fields is listed on JSE Limited (primary listing), the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), the Dubai International Financial Exchange (DIFX), the Euronext in Brussels (NYX) and the Swiss Exchange (SWX). For more information please visit the Gold Fields website at http://www.goldfields.co.za
SOURCE Gold Fields Limited
For further information: For further information: Investor Enquiries: Willie Jacobsz: Tel (508) 839-1188, Mobile (857) 241-7127, email Willie.Jacobsz@gfexpl.com; Nikki Catrakilis-Wagner, Tel +27-11-562-9706, Mobile +27(0)83-309-6720, email Nikki.Catrakilis-Wagner@goldfields.co.za; Media Enquiries: Sven Lunsche, Tel +27-11-562-9763, Mobile +27(0)83-260-9279, email Sven.Lunsche@goldfields.co.za