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Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Gold Fields Plans to cut 1,560 jobs

JOHANNESBURG: After years of losses and failed turnarounds, Gold Fields Ltd. has come up with another plan to save its massive South Deep mine, reports Bloomberg.
According to various reports the Johannesburg-based company may cut about 1,560 employees and contractors at the operation, its only one left in South Africa, and refocus the mine plan to reduce activity and lower costs. South Deep is the world’s second-biggest known body of gold-bearing ore and has the potential to produce for 70 years, yet more than a decade of poor performance has weighed on the company.

The company will announce a new plan in February for South Deep, which is losing about 100 million rand ($7 million) a month at the moment, Chief Executive Officer Nick Holland said on a conference call.
“This has not been an easy decision and comes after many other initiatives have been attempted where we haven’t seen results,” he said. “We believe this is the best short-term initiative to resize the operation and look at what a more realistic operation would be.”
Gold Fields shares dropped as much as 10 percent in Johannesburg, the most since April 2017.
Gold Fields has plowed 32 billion rand into South Deep since 2006, including the purchase cost. The mine, which stretches 3 kilometers underground, has lost 4 billion rand over the past five years as it repeatedly missed targets and the company struggled to mechanize the operation in a country dominated by conventional, labor-intensive mining methods.
In addition to eliminating jobs, the restructuring involves reducing the equipment fleet, scaling back mining in some sections and cutting capital expenditure, Gold Fields said. The company said it can’t provide new output forecasts until it’s finished revising the mine plan.
Speaking to Bloomberg, Holland said as recently as last month that increasing volumes was key to turning around South Deep because of the industry’s high fixed costs.
Read an interview with Gold Fields’ CEO about South Deep and its challenges

Tweet us @GoXtraNews #GoXtraNews or contact our editor Buchule Raba editor@goxtranews.com to send us your stories or request interviews.

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