Gold Fields is well-placed to produce around two million ounces of gold a year over the long term as output at its Gruyere joint venture project in Western Australia gears up.
The milestone is expected to be reached for the first time in 2019 when also taking into account the contributions of the company’s Damang mine and Asanko JV in Ghana.
Gold Fields has spent over $US500 million ($713 million), primarily on the Gruyere JV with Gold Road Resources and on its Damang mine in Ghana, over the past two years.
The longer-term future of Gold Fields’ portfolio also looks “positive” as it continues to invest in near-mine exploration in Australia, according to company chief executive Nick Holland.
“The globalisation of our portfolio has also been evident in a gradual shift in our mineral reserve exposure,” Holland said.
“Until two years ago, just over 70 per cent of our reserves were held by South Deep (in South Africa). That profile has changed: of our total gold-equivalent mineral reserves of 50.9 million ounces in December 2018, 41 per cent are now outside South Africa.”
The Australian region produced 229,000 ounces for the March quarter, up 3 per cent year-on-year (YoY). Gold Fields expects an increase of 4–7 per cent in equivalent gold production in 2019 to 2.13–2.18 million ounces, as previously guided.
Gruyere remains on target for first gold production in the June quarter, with mining scaled up to double shift operations in January and 800,000 tonnes of ore mined and stockpiled in preparation for the plant start-up.