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FULL PRODUCTION ACHIEVED ON EXPANSION PROJECTS AT END DECEMBER 2008

JOHANNESBURG. 29 January 2009, Gold Fields Limited (JSE and NYSE: GFI) today announced headline earnings for the December 2008 quarter of R484 million, compared with earnings of R39 million and R456 million for the September 2008 and December 2007 quarters respectively. In US dollar terms headline earnings for the December 2008 quarter were US$55 million, compared with earnings of US$5 million and US$67 million in the September 2008 and December 2007 quarters respectively.

 

Stock data
JSE Limited – (GFI)
Number of shares in issue Range - Quarter ZAR54.00 – ZAR96.35
- at end December 2008 653,440,408 Average Volume - Quarter 3,110,756 shares / day
- average for the quarter 653,341,082 NYSE – (GFI)
Free Float 100% Range - Quarter US$4.90 – US$9.64
ADR Ratio 1:1 Average Volume - Quarter 7,617,060 shares / day
Bloomberg / Reuters GFISJ / GFLJ.J  

December 2008 quarter salient features:

  • Attributable gold production of 839,000 ounces; 5 per cent higher than the previous quarter and in line with guidance;
  • Cash costs were flat at R153,893 per kilogram but decreased by 21 per cent in dollar terms from US$617 per ounce in the September quarter to US$487 per ounce in the December quarter due to the weaker rand and Australian dollar;
  • NCE increased by 8 per cent to R244,210 per kilogram this quarter but decreased from US$909 per ounce to US$774 per ounce due to the weaker rand and Australian dollar;
  • Project capital expenditure at Cerro Corona and Tarkwa fully completed in line with guidance;
  • Cerro Corona achieved full production late in the December quarter;
  • Kloof Main shaft infrastructure rehabilitation completed as planned;
  • The CIL plant expansion at Tarkwa achieved rock into mill on 12 December 2008 and name plate capacity on 23 December 2008.

Interim dividend number 70 of 30 SA cents per share is payable on 23 February 2009.

Statement by Nick Holland,
Chief Executive Officer of Gold Fields:

“As per the guidance provided to the market, the first half of F2009 was extremely challenging for Gold Fields. During this period we had to make a number of challenging decisions regarding the rehabilitation of our South African mines, and complete our international growth projects.

We have also taken safety to a new level. While we consider this as work-in-progress, we have already seen significant improvements on all safety metrics. Particularly significant is the decline in the fatal injuries which, to December, stands at eight compared with the total of 47 for F2008. Our objective is to achieve a significant decline in serious injuries and to eliminate all fatal injuries on our mines.

Despite the impact of the Christmas break on the South Africa operations, and the decline in the copper price which negatively impacted the conversion of copper into gold equivalent ounces at Cerro Corona, attributable production for Q3 F2009 is expected to be approximately 960,000 equivalent ounces.

As a result of the lower copper price and its impact on the conversion of Cerro Corona’s copper into gold equivalent ounces, total gold production for the Group is expected to stabilise at a run rate of approximately 975,000 annualised equivalent ounces during the month of March.

The expected shortfall of 25,000 ounces against our targeted run rate of one million ounces is entirely attributable to the conversion of Cerro Corona’s copper into gold equivalent ounces at the lower copper price. However, the mine is expected to achieve its design capacity in actual gold and copper production.

With our major growth projects in Ghana and Peru completed, capital expenditure is expected to decline significantly. Combined with the expected increase in production and our ongoing efforts to reduce our cash costs and notional cash expenditure, this will enable us to benefit more from the higher gold price and move the company to a cash positive position.

Electricity supply in South Africa, which constrained our operating performance in F2008, has stabilised. More importantly, Gold Fields has ameliorated the impact of power rationing by implementing several energy saving projects.

In light of the current credit crisis, Gold Fields’ balance sheet remains robust with manageable debt levels and adequate liquidity.

For the remainder of F2009 and through F2010 our main priority is to further improve our safety performance and to increase production by optimising our existing mines.