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17

South Africa's Gold Major to Increase South Deep Production

South Africa's gold mining firm Gold Fields would spend the next five years building up production at the South Deep

South Africa's gold mining firm Gold Fields would spend the next five years building up production at the South Deep mine to full capacity of 330,000 tons a month or 800,000 oz of gold a year, the head of South African operations Vishnu Pillay has said.

CEO Nick Holland said this plan had not been abandoned, but it made sense for Gold Fields to mine about 30-million ounces of shallower resources before moving into a second phase of development.

Pillay said Gold Fields’ priorities at South Deep were to understand the potential volumes and grades in the ore body, complete infrastructure and accelerate development, and to implement mechanised, rather than conventional, mining.

The mine would have 2,500 employees and 500-1,000 contractors.

At the end of June, Gold Fields held 83-million ounces of gold in reserves compared with 94-million ounces 18 months previously, based on a three-year rolling average gold price. But if present spot prices of about $810/oz were used, reserves would be almost unchanged, Holland said.