Gold Fields halts exploration projects, turns focus to new WA assets

Following the acquisition of former three Barrick mines in Western Australia six weeks ago, Gold Fields has wasted no time squeezing synergy savings as it merges the operations with its existing assets.

Finalising the $US270 million deal on October 1, Gold Fields has added about 400,000 ounces of output to its portfolio with the addition of Granny Smith, Lawlers and Darlot mines.

Conducting an operational review on each of the mines, the company is looking to integrate cost saving measures.

 Gold Fields chief executive Nick Holland told investors on Wednesday Lawlers is being merged with its existing Agnew operations in a bid to realise synergies.

“The two mines were immediately integrated and the Lawlers processing plant is expected to be closed by the end of November,” he said.

“All newly mined ore from Lawlers is now being treated at the Agnew plant.”

Shutting the plant saw about 60 jobs cut from the site last month.

Infrastructure and human resources services are also being consolidated.

Holland said the longer term future of the Darlot site is currently being assessed.

“Darlot are implementing a range of operational improvements to reduce their cash burn,” he said.

It expects the Yilgarn South assets will produce between 90,000 and 100,000 ounces for the December quarter.

The Australian reports the miner is stopping all greenfields exploration projects across Australia.

"All greenfields exploration in Australia has been stopped so that we can dedicate most of our resources onto the near-term brownfields potential at the five mines in WA," Holland said.

“In the Australasia region, the key focus will be on brownfields exploration in the Yilgarn South region where Gold Fields has an extensive and highly prospective tenement position associated with its newly acquired and existing assets.”

To keep up to date with Australian Mining, subscribe to our free email newsletters delivered straight to your inbox. Click here.